Candle holders

Introduction Candle-holders are lighting devices into which candles were fitted. They can be of many shapes, the main division being between the socket type (with a cup into which the candle was inserted) and the pricket type (with a spike onto which the candle was pushed). Sockets were certainly used by the Romans, but are …more

Bird feeders, inkwells and other small lead vessels

Introduction Small lead or lead-alloy vessels can be bird feeders, inkwells, cup weights, dice shakers or be of unknown function. A few are described below with tips on identification and recording. Most of these objects should be recorded as Lead. Only use Lead Alloy if the object seems rather too lightweight to be pure lead. …more

Ceramics (including the Pottery Guide)

The PAS has produced a guide to the recording of pottery vessels which can be downloaded as a pdf here: PAS Pottery Recording Guide. Other ceramic items (clay pipes, ceramic lamps and moulds, kiln furniture and so on) are briefly noted towards the end of the Pottery Recording Guide, with recommendations as to the object …more

Needles (2001 guide)

Please note that this guide has not been fundamentally changed from the original print version of the Finds Recording Guide (Geake 2001), written when the database contained just 8,800 non-numismatic records. Introduction Like sewing pins and lace-tags, these slender objects do not survive well in ploughsoil. Their head ends can be recognised because the long …more


Introduction This guide is to keys for locking and unlocking locks and padlocks. Locks and keys are symbolic of personal property, control and exclusion, so they are interesting items to record and study. Most of the keys recorded on the PAS database are made from copper alloy, but most excavated keys (and probably most keys …more