Annual Report 2001 - 2003

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The main achievements of the Portable Antiquities Scheme in the period 1 October 2001–31 March 2003 can be summarised as follows:

Extent of the Scheme

During the period of this report 12 Finds Liaison Officers covered about half of England and the whole of Wales. The central unit comprised the Scheme’s Co-ordinator and Outreach Officer. In April 2002 Resource was successful in its bid to the Heritage Lottery Fund to extend the Portable Antiquities Scheme to all parts of England and Wales from 2003.

Recognition of success

The success and contribution of the Scheme was recognised by the All Party Parliamentary Archaeological Group in its first report, The Current State of Archaeology in the United Kingdom (2003).

Objects recorded

A further 49,590 archaeological objects have been recorded, some of which are illustrated in this report. Of these, over 60 per cent have been discovered by metal-detector users, but a significant minority has also been found by people not actively seeking archaeological material. Further, this report shows that the presence of a Finds Liaison Officer may increase the reporting rate of Treasure Finds by a factor of between three and five.

Finders

The Finds Liaison Officers have liaised with over 1,704 finders, maintaining regular contact with 61 metal detecting clubs and amateur archaeological groups.

New sites discovered

Many important new archaeological sites have been discovered as a result of the finds recorded by the Finds Liaison Officers. These include a site of an unofficial Roman mint in Norfolk and hitherto unknown Anglo-Saxon sites in Kent, Northamptonshire and Yorkshire.

Findspot information

Almost 92 per cent of finds recorded have been recovered from cultivated land, where they are susceptible to plough damage and artificial and natural corrosion processes. Seventy per cent of finds are now being recorded to the nearest 100 square metres (a six-figure National Grid Reference) or better.

Finds data

The finds data generated by the Scheme is to be made available to Historic Environment Records – the key record-holders for information about the historic environment – and is published on the Scheme’s website, www.finds.org.uk

Outreach

193 talks have been given about the Portable Antiquities Scheme, 135 finds (identification and recording) days, exhibitions and displays have been organised, and 122 articles have been published or broadcast in the media.

Website

There have been 1,809,412 page requests of the Scheme’s website – www.finds.org.uk – in the period of this report. At the end of this reporting period the online database allows public access to 47,605 records and 4,684 images.

Publication

Several publications associated with the work of the Scheme have appeared in the period of this report, including the Treasure Annual Report 2000, the Portable Antiquities section of Medieval Archaeology volumes 45 (2001) and 46 (2002) and a Guide to Conservation for Metal-detectorists (Tempus, 2002).

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