Meet the Finds Liaison Assistant – Emily Tilley

Hi, I’m Emily Tilley and on 12th July I started working as the new Headley Trust Finds Liaison Assistant alongside Rebecca Griffiths, Finds Liaison Officer for North and East Yorkshire.  On Thursdays and Fridays over the next nine months I will be working to help borrow, record, research, and interpret finds reported to the Portable Antiquities Scheme in North and East Yorkshire.

My role is based at the Yorkshire Museum in York, and I’m no stranger to the site (or to Becky).  Since November 2016 I have been working as the Collections Facilitator for Roman Archaeology at York Museums Trust and on Mondays to Wednesdays I’ll be continuing to work for the Trust as a Curatorial Assistant.  Prior to working for York Museums Trust and the Portable Antiquities Scheme I completed a BA in Classics and an MA in Museum Studies.  I feel very lucky to be able to put my qualifications to good use!

Emily working on some not-so-portable antiquities in her role as Collections Facilitator
(alongside Adam Parker, Assistant Curator of Archaeology)

I started off as Finds Liaison Assistant by recording a whopping 123 Roman coins, building on my past experience working with Roman numismatics.  Thankfully Dr. Sam Moorhead and Becky had already done most of the hard work by identifying them, so all I had to do was type up the records.  It was a great crash-course in PAS numismatics documentation, the Roman coin issues that are commonly found in the region, and the condition of PAS finds.  It also produced some very flattering statistics for my first two weeks of recording!

Emily accidentally dressing to match a Roman coin. Numismatic bonus points.

I have since moved on to documenting an array of different object types brought in by finders and am slowly getting to grips with the many, many reference books that we have available in the office.  My favourite object so far has been a Medieval lead pendant (YORYM-C1D7B5) depicting the Virgin and Child on the obverse and the Crucifixion on the reverse.  It’s one of four almost identical examples on the database, all of which were found within a 37 mile distribution to the east of York, suggesting local production.

YORYM-C1D7B5, Medieval lead pendant.

I have also attended Finds Days in Hull and York and really enjoyed meeting finders and seeing objects as they come in for recording.  And I’m currently working on my first Treasure case!  In the next few weeks I’ll be learning the PAS approaches to photography which will allow me to finish my records, so look out for #FindsFriday pics on Twitter (@YMT_Emily)!  I’ll also be attending several PASt Explorers object training sessions over the next few months, which will be a very exciting opportunity to develop my knowledge of the huge range of object types that the Portable Antiquities Scheme records.

Every single day working for the PAS is a fantastic learning opportunity and I already feel more confident working with small finds after just a short time on the job!  It’s lovely to be able to continue working with colleagues at the Yorkshire Museum and to build new relationships with PAS colleagues across England and Wales.  I can’t wait to meet you all in person!