Articles about the Scheme in the Guardian

Guardian open platform logo

All information displayed on these pages has been retrieved for the search "portable antiquities scheme archaeology" and is returned via the Guardian Platform using their applications programming interface API.

The search returns data that is outside the Scheme's control, and we are not responsible for content on the Guardian website. We do however, hope that you find this function useful.

Being a detectorist has its moments to treasure

Trail image for this article

My fingers are still cracked from the cold of a clear Monday in the Kent countryside. Wrapped up in numerous layers, my friend James and I were out with thermos flasks, shovels and metal detectors to explore the past hidden beneath the frozen turf. Despite the news of a record-breaking find of 5,251 Anglo-Saxon coins, metal detecting is not a sexy hobby. The geeks of Mackenzie Crook’s recent sitcom, Detectorists, are all too close to real life – and yes, we dig up more ring pulls than ancient coins. But you can keep your parkour, your sourdough baking or your street dance – they’ve got nothing o…

Read entire story »

Tags: Comment is free Hobbies Archaeology Life and style Science Comment UK news Article Mark Wallace

The joy of metal detecting – it’s not just about the treasure

Trail image for this article

Yesterday, a treasure hunt began on a Folkestone beach where a German artist, Michael Sailstorfer, has buried £10,000 of bullion – 30 bars of 24-carat gold – as part of an arts festival. People started to descend with metal detectors, spades, forked sticks and anything else they thought might help, and on Thursday night a family found the very first bar. Is this art? It’s not for me to say. I can’t tell a Picasso from a potato, but it’s certainly given my hobby a boost. I live in deepest Wiltshire, and can assure this talented artist that there are plenty of places around here where he would be welcome to practice his chosen art form. Four years ago, I was lucky enough to uncover the world’s

Read entire story »

Tags: Comment is free Heritage Archaeology Science Culture Museums Folkestone Triennial Art and design Comment UK news Article Dave Crisp

Great North Museum needs to raise £7,000 to safeguard Lindisfarne Hoard

Trail image for this article

In the 1560s Lindisfarne, a tidal island off the Northumberland coast near Berwick, was something of an armed camp close to the front line of the defence against Scotland. After Henry VIII dissolved the monasteries, stones from Lindisfarne Priory were used to build a small castle and other fortifications for the harbour.So the garrison seems an unlikely place for not one but two of Britain's greatest treasure discoveries. Perhaps an officer stationed on Lindisfarne was careless, forgetful or unlucky, as two small hoards of coins dating from shortly after the castle was built in 1550 have been found near a watercourse by the same house.The first collection came to light in 1962, and consists of 50 silver 16th-century English and Scottish coins. It now belongs to the Society of Antiquaries of Newcastle, and is housed in the

Read entire story »

Tags: The Northerner Blogposts UK news Alan Sykes Archaeology Northumberland Article

Go beachcombing for lost treasure

Trail image for this article

On a morning tube full of commuters, I am the only person in wellies. At London Bridge, I break away from the suits filing towards the City, and make for the river. Moments later I'm down on my knees, sifting through rusty metal and rocks in the mud. Office life feels very far away.I am here to learn how to beachcomb with Steve Brooker of the Society of London Mudlarks. "Mudlarks" were originally Victorian children who scavenged on the Thames for coal, bones or wood to sell. Now they're amateur archaeologists who search the shore for artifacts turned up by the river.To gain a mudlark's licence, you have to put in two years as a beachcomber, recording your finds with the Museum of London. But beachcombing is a skill, too, and by learning the basics you are much more likely to discover something of interest – and take your first step towards becoming a mudlark.When and where to goWe start on the beach below the Globe theatre, a go…

Read entire story »

Tags: Do Something: how to ... Do Something active Features Becky Barnicoat Do Something Do Something Article The Guardian

Civil war silver jug among 990 treasures unearthed in 2012

Trail image for this article

When three friends first saw a great lump of silvery metal just below the surface of a Dorset field, they thought they'd hit a metal pipe and, because it was so shiny, that it must be aluminium.Stuart McLeod, the primary school headteacher who had started metal detecting a few weeks earlier, had only found horseshoes until then. He yearned to find a good early coin, like the fistfuls regularly unearthed by his veteran metal-detecting friends Stephen Tharp, a retired chef, and joiner Shawn Miller.It took the three of them to ease their find out of its pit in the ground. It turned out to be one of the most spectacular treasure finds of 2012, 1kg of silver fashioned into a massive jug.

Read entire story »

Tags: Heritage Archaeology Science Culture Museums UK news Maev Kennedy News UK news Main section Article The Guardian

Silverdale Viking treasure to go on display in Lancashire

Trail image for this article

A spectacular stash of Viking treasure – more than 200 pieces of silver including beautiful arm rings, brooches, silver ingots, and a battered, misspelt coin that revealed a previously unknown Viking ruler – will go on display this month near where it was found by a metal-detector enthusiast two years ago.The hoard was found packed into a lead container inches below the surface of a field in Lancashire. But whether it would be displayed in the county where it was found had seemed in doubt in the economic climate.Now, though, Lancashire county museum service has raised the £110,000 that it needed to acquire the third-largest Viking hoard found in the UK, with the help of a £45,000 grant from the National Heritage Memorial Fund, £33,000 from the Art Fund charity, plus other grants and local donations.It was found in 2011 by Darren Webster, a stonemason who was out with the metal detector his wife had given him for Christmas. The field, on the outski…

Read entire story »

Tags: Heritage Culture News Maev Kennedy UK news UK news Main section Article The Guardian

We came, we saw, we detected: relics from Caesar era among amateur finds

Trail image for this article

When the battered metal helmet turned up in a field on the outskirts of Canterbury, the archaeologists had to peer at it carefully to be sure it wasn't a relic from a careless American GI in the second world war — albeit one with eccentric tastes, since it contained a mass of burned human bone.The helmet, revealed for the first time as last year's haul of archaeological finds by metal detectors was unveiled at the British Museum, is in fact an artefact from a much earlier conflict. It is an exceptionally rare Iron Age Celtic helmet from the time of the first invasion of Britain by Julius Caesar, who landed only a few miles away on the Kent coast. The bones haven't yet been analysed, but the presumption is that they are those of the helmet's owner, who must have been a warrior — and could in those complicated times have been a Gaul fighting either by Caesar's side, or with the defending Britons.It is one of only a handful of such helmets from the period from…

Read entire story »

Tags: Roman Britain Archaeology Science Maev Kennedy Heritage Museums Article The Guardian UK news Main section

Evidence for unknown Viking king Airdeconut found in Lancashire

Trail image for this article

Evidence of a previously unknown Viking king has been discovered in a hoard of silver found by a metal detectorist, stashed in a lead box in a field in Lancashire.The 201 pieces of silver including beautiful arm rings, worn by Viking warriors, were found on the outskirts of Silverdale, a village near the coast in north Lancashire, by Darren Webster, using the metal detector his wife gave him as a Christmas present. It adds up to more than 1kg of silver, probably stashed for safe keeping around AD900 at a time of wars and power struggles among the Vikings of northern England, and never recovered.Airdeconut – thought to be the Anglo Saxon coin maker's struggle to get to grips with the Viking name Harthacnut – was found on one of the coins in the hoard.The Airdeconut coin also reveals that within a generation of the Vikings starting to colonise permanent settlements in Britain in the 870s – instead of coming as summer raiders – their kings had alli…

Read entire story »

Tags: Archaeology Science Museums Culture UK news Maev Kennedy News UK news Main section Article The Guardian

Leeds needs a hand to keep its golden hoard

Trail image for this article

You're not really anything these days if you haven't got a Hoard of your own, which is why Leeds needs to raise a few thousand pounds very quickly.If we fail, the city will lose one of the most interesting treasures to come out of our local ground since the Victorian heyday of Roman finds and the bones of ancient hippopotami which once sensibly favoured the sunny swamps of what is now Armley.What am I on about? The Leeds or West Yorkshire Hoard. Yes, we have got one at last and I went to a very interesting evening of talks about it at the city Museum just the other night. The city's curator of archaeology Kat Baxter and a Leeds university mediaevalist, Dr Alaric Hall, did a marvellous double-act and we were allowed to see the gold it…

Read entire story »

Tags: The Northerner Blogposts Martin Wainwright Leeds Archaeology Gold History University of Leeds Museums Museums Article

Badge dug up in field is medieval treasure

Trail image for this article

A scrap of twisted silver found a few weeks ago by a metal detector in Lancashire will take its place among masterpieces of medieval art at the British Museum, in an exhibition opening this week of the bejewelled shrines made to hold the relics of saints and martyrs.The badge made of silver found by Paul King, a retired logistics expert, is a humble object to earn a place in an exhibition called Treasures of Heaven, but it is unique. It will sit among gold and silver reliquaries studded with gems the size of thumbnails – or the sockets from which they were wrenched by thieves – once owned by emperors, popes and princes.The badge, the only one of its kind ever found in Britain, provides a link 500 years ago between this corner of rural Lancashire and the great pilgrimage sites of mainland Europe. It shows one of the companions of St Ursula, one of the most popular mystical legends of medieval Europe. She was said to be a British princess who sailed with 11,0…

Read entire story »

Tags: Museums Culture News UK news Maev Kennedy Art and design Archaeology Science Exhibitions UK news Main section Article The Guardian

Warriors wielding metal detectors redraw ancient maps of England

Trail image for this article

Amateurs using metal detectors have found record amounts of golden treasure and priceless scraps of history across England, according to an annual report from the British Museum.All the items were reported to archaeologists under a scheme which the museum's director, Neil MacGregor, called "quite unique in Europe".MacGregor recently presented the successful Radio 4 series, A History of the World in 100 Objects.The report shows that 2010 was an exceptional year, with 859 treasure discoveries (up by 10%) and 90,146 other finds (up 36%).The finds are helping draw new maps of invasion, settlement, trade and warfare across thousands of years of English history.All were reported through the treasure and portable antiquities sche…

Read entire story »

Tags: Heritage Culture Museums Archaeology Science UK news News Maev Kennedy UK news Main section Article The Guardian

Geoff Egan obituary

Trail image for this article

Geoff Egan, who has died of coronary thrombosis aged 59, was the leading UK expert in medieval and later small finds, and pioneered liaison between archaeologists and the "mudlarks" who search for finds on the Thames foreshore. Digging in thick mud against the tide, mudlarks have retrieved a fascinating trove of metal artefacts left by generations of Londoners on the riverbanks.Mudlarks were once shunned by many professional archaeologists, who deplored what they saw as their unscientific methods of retrieval, but many developed great expertise and some, such as Tony Pilson, donated their collections to the Museum of London and the British Museum.Geoff had done some mudlarking himself before he became a professional archaeologist. Together with his colleague Hazel Forsyth, in 2005 he published Toys, Trifles and Trinkets, detailing Pilson's collection. This pioneering work studied a class of artefact (children's metal toys made…

Read entire story »

Tags: Archaeology Science Museums Culture London UK news Obituaries Main section Obituaries Article The Guardian

Elaine Paintin obituary

Trail image for this article

Into a life cut short by a heart attack at the age of 63, Elaine Paintin packed three quite different phases of activity, as arts administrator, civil servant at the Department of National Heritage, and director of the Marc Fitch Fund. In each role she achieved a great deal that will be of lasting value for the arts, archaeology and local history of Britain. The second phase was the shortest of all: her secondment as civil servant with responsibility for drafting and getting through parliament the Treasure Act 1996. This major extension of the ancient law of treasure trove has resulted in the saving for the public of hundreds of buried antiquities.Elaine was born and brought up in Oxford, where her father, Leslie, worked in the council's planning department. She would have been the first to declare her debt to her teachers at Milham Ford school in Oxford. At that stage, too, she began an intermittent political involvement, as secretary of the Oxford Young Liberal…

Read entire story »

Tags: Archaeology British Library British Museum Obituaries Main section Obituaries Article The Guardian

Why Frome is still cashing in on the Romans

Trail image for this article

Dave Crisp found treasure on a soggy ridge outside the Somerset town of Frome last April, and helped rewrite history. On a bitter winter afternoon, as he walks the frosty field again, he recalls one of the most heart-stoppingly exciting moments of his life. The 63-year-old ex-army man had discovered a scattering of Roman silver coins in the field. He came back a few days later with his detector, bought secondhand on eBay, to round up any remaining broken pieces. The signals were faint and confusing."I picked out a piece of Roman pottery, and when I turned it over there was a coin, a bronze radiate, stuck in it. When I turned over the next handful of clay, it was stuffed with coins — 20 at least. I just sat back on my heels and shouted: 'I've done it!'. I knew at once I'd found a Roman coin hoard in its undisturbed container — I knew the archaeologists would wet themselv…

Read entire story »

Tags: Archaeology Features Interviews Maev Kennedy History Museums Discover The New Review Article The Observer

British Museum takeover safeguards buried treasure agencies as quango goes

Trail image for this article

The agencies that handle archaeological finds, many from amateurs with metal detectors, will become part of the British Museum, their future assured as the government dismantles the Museums, Libraries and Archives (MLA) quango.The fate of the treasure and portable antiquities schemes was disclosed as they today report their annual audit of finds, another rich haul of gold coins, silver goblets, a 3,000-year-old bracelet found by a man clearing stones in a field in northern Ireland and a 400-year-old toy coach which came out of the mud of the Thames foreshore.However the two schemes, which maintain a national network of finds officers, will lose 15% of their £1.4m budget over the next four years, like the British Museum itself.Culture minister Ed Vaizey also said, as he launched the latest Treasure report which covers 806 reported finds in 2008, that the MLA responsibility for regional museums and libraries will be transferred as anticipated to the Arts…

Read entire story »

Tags: Quangos Archaeology Museums Museums News Maev Kennedy UK news Main section The Guardian Arts Council England Article

Roman helmet sold for £2m

Trail image for this article

In just three minutes at a Christie's auction, the most hauntingly beautiful face to emerge from the British soil in more than a century slid out of the grasp of the museum desperate to acquire it when the Roman helmet was sold to an anonymous telephone bidder for £2m [see footnote] – dramatically higher than the highest pre-sale estimate of £300,000.The man who found it last May, using a metal detector on farmland on the outskirts of the Cumbrian hamlet of Crosby Garrett, a currently unemployed graduate in his early 20s from the north-east, will share the price with the landowner, but is now a millionaire.Tullie House museum in Carlisle managed to stay in the bidding up to £1.7m, a staggering sum for a small museum raised in gifts and grant promises through frantic fundraising in the last month. Three more bids of £100,000 each lost it the treasure."I'm still shaking," Andrew Mackay, …

Read entire story »

Tags: Heritage Culture Archaeology Museums UK news Science News Art and design Maev Kennedy Article The Guardian UK news Main section

Campaign to keep Roman cavalry helmet in Cumbria given boost

Trail image for this article

An anonymous benefactor has offered £50,000 to help keep a stunning Roman cavalry helmet discovered with a metal detector near the village of Crosby Garrett in Cumbria within the county.The donation is a major boost to the fundraising campaign by Tullie House museum in Carlisle, a small museum within yards of Hadrian's Wall which has a major Roman collection.Members of the public have donated £32,000 and the museum is racing to raise enough money to bid for the artefact at a Christie's auction next month.The helmet, modelled as the head of a handsome youth wearing a Phrygian cap, in bronze with a tinned face which would originally have shone like silver, is the most spectacular find of its kind in more than a c…

Read entire story »

Tags: Museums Culture Archaeology UK news Heritage Maev Kennedy News Carlisle Article

Roman cavalry helmet found with metal detector may go abroad at auction

Trail image for this article

A stunning Roman cavalry helmet, made to awe the spectators in a procession of wealth and power rather than for practical use in combat, has been found by a metal detector user near the village of Crosby Garrett in Cumbria.However, the artefact is not certain to end up in a local museum as single items of bronze are not covered by the Treasure Act.Instead the helmet, the best found in Britain in more than a century, is likely to make its finder rich at auction, with a guide price at Christie's of £300,000.Tullie House in Carlisle, which has an important Roman collection, is desperate to acquire the helmet with the backing of the British Museum, but faces an uphill battle to match bidders at next month's sale. One expert believes the helmet could go for £500,000 or more.The bronze helmet, which was originally tinned so it would have shone like silver, is modelled as the head of a handsome young man with curly hair, wearing a Phrygian cap - later …

Read entire story »

Tags: Museums Heritage Culture Archaeology UK news News Maev Kennedy Article UK news Main section

Medieval roof finial found beside Thames

Trail image for this article

A scrap of muddy terracotta found on a bank of the Thames has provided a rare glimpse of the grandeur of medieval London before the Great Fire.The roof finial, up to 800 years old and in the shape of an animal, would have decorated a grand tiled roof at a time when most people lived under thatch. It was found by a mudlark – one of the small army of amateur archaeologists who scour the beaches and mudflats of the river at low tide.The finial is a rare find. The fire of 1666 obliterated much of the medieval street pattern and led to changes in building regulations to prevent fire spreading again with such disastrous speed.Roy Stephenson, head of archaeological collections at the Museum of London, said: "It gives a fascinating insight into the lost roofscape of medieval London, which we know relatively little about. Here we have evidence of a decorated tiled roof, possibly from a prestigious private dwelling."Mudlarks have operated for centuries al…

Read entire story »

Tags: London Heritage UK news Culture News Maev Kennedy Article

Haul of Roman coins dug up in field to earn finder a fortune

Dave Crisp excavates part of the hoard of Roman coins he found in a pot in a field near Frome, Somerset. Photograph: Somerset County Council/PAA metal detector enthusiast could share a £1m payout after finding one of Britain's largest ever collections of Roman coins in a farmer's field, it emerged today.Dave Crisp, an NHS chef, was celebrating after a coroner ruled the find of 52,000 coins was treasure. It becomes the property of the crown and is bound to end up in a museum, but Crisp and the landowner will be rewarded once the hoard has been valued by an independent panel.Crisp, 63, had spent more than 20 years hunting for buried treasure, with modest success. But he struck gold in April when he dug down a foot in…

Read entire story »

Tags: Archaeology Science UK news Steven Morris UK news Main section Article The Guardian

1 - 20 of 50 records.

Other formats: this page is available as xml json rss atom representations.