News from the Scheme

Rare new acquisitions on display

Published: Wednesday 29th November 2006 Author: Peter Reavill

Shrewsbury Museums Service is delighted to be able to display for the first time some internationally important archaeological finds from Shropshire.

A pair of spoons, dating to the Iron Age (800 BC - 100 AD) were found by local metal detectorist, Mr. Trevor Brown, in mid Shropshire during 2005. They are extremely rare and only twenty-three others of this type are known in the world!

These are the first spoons of this type to be found for eighty years. The spoons are always found in pairs but no-one is sure what they were used for. It has been suggested that they have a ritual or divinatory purpose but the truth may be more prosaic. They remain evocative and enigmatic items.

The spoons were reported to the Portable Antiquities Scheme and purchased for the museums via the Treasure Act, with assistance from The Friends of Shrewsbury's Museums.

Since Peter Reavill started work as Finds Liaison Officer (FLO) for Shropshire and Herefordshire, in 2003, the museum identification service and the Portable Antiquities Scheme have worked closely together. Peter runs finds identification afternoons in the museum and has recorded hundreds of Shropshire finds. He also acts as the main contact point for members of the public who find items that come under the Treasure Act.

The spoons are on display at Shrewsbury Museum & Art Gallery until 22nd December, alongside other recent purchases, donations and loans of archaeological finds, dating from the Iron Age to the 17th century.

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Herefordshire Archaeological Symposium

Published: Monday 22nd March 2010 Author:

Presents
ARCHAEOLOGY IN PROFILE
A NINTH SYMPOSIUM ON
ARCHAEOLOGY IN HEREFORDSHIRE
At the Courtyard Theatre, Hereford
On Saturday 21st October 2006

Programme
Morning session: Chair: Andrew Ashcroft
9.30 Introduction and welcome
9.35 Tim Hoverd Archaeology in Herefordshire in 2006: an overview
10.00 Peter Dorling The Lugg Valley Project
10.45 Discussion
11.00 Break
11.30 Chris Atkinson The Garway Common Project
12.00 Julian Cotton Recent investigations at Kilpeck Castle
12.30 Discussion
12.40 Lunch break
Afternoon session: Chair: Dr. Neil Rimmington
14.00 Peter Dorling Neolithic sites in the Lugg Valley
14.45 Peter Reavill Bronze Age Finds from Herefordshire
15.20 Break
15.50 Dale Rouse Excavations on the Asda site, Hereford.
16.20 Dr. Nigel Baker Ross-on-Wye: The urban archaeology of a market town

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EBay announcement

Published: Monday 22nd March 2010 Author:

BMpuk.jpgMLA logoeBay logo

The British Museum and the Museums, Libraries and Archives Council (MLA) have partnered with eBay.co.uk to ensure that antiquities found in the UK are being sold legally on its site.

In order to prevent illegal sales of treasure, the Portable Antiquities Scheme (PAS, which is managed by the British Museum on behalf of the MLA) has set up a team to monitor antiquities sold on eBay.co.uk and to ensure that sellers have the right to trade them. Where the listing is illegal, PAS will report it to the Art and Antiques Unit of the Metropolitan Police and eBay.co.uk, which has committed to end illegal listings.The commitment is the latest development in eBay's on-going work with national law enforcement agencies.

eBay.co.uk is the first website to reach an agreement with the British Museum and the MLA banning the illegal sale of treasure over its trading platform,

English, Welsh and Northern Irish archaeological finds which constitute 'treasure' must be reported to the relevant authorities under the Treasure Act. Failing to report a find of treasure is a criminal offence.

In many cases, sellers innocently trade items on the web, unaware that finds need to be reported under the provisions of the Treasure Act. eBay has therefore also worked with the British Museum and PAS to create a guide to buying and selling antiquities safely on its site with advice about reporting obligations. The guide is to be found at http://pages.ebay.co.uk/buy/guides/antiquities

Dr Roger Bland, head of Portable Antiquities and Treasure at the British Museum said:

"We welcome eBay's assistance in helping stop the illegal sale of antiquities on the internet with this partnership. Our experience is that most people who buy and sell UK archaeological finds do so without being aware that they may be breaking the law if items have not been reported. We have therefore worked with eBay to ensure that its users are aware of its obligations through our guide. We will also be contacting sellers to ensure that they have reported items and have appropriate documentation."

Chris Batt, MLA Chief Executive added:

"For those who are selling items illegally, this partnership means we have in place a process to stop listings and take action against the individuals concerned. Doing so is vital because such activity is not only illegal but could also damage the archaeological record as, without effective reporting, valuable insights into our past could be lost forever."

David Lammy, Culture Minister comments

"eBay is one of this century's greatest success stories. A truly global phenomenon. But like us, they recognise that the expanding internet trade in art, antiquities and antiques has potential for abuse, and it is important that steps are taken to ensure that it does not unwittingly become a cover for criminality. I commend eBay for taking such a responsible stance."

Garreth Griffith, head of Trust and Safety at eBay.co.uk, comments:

"Educating our customers on what to look out for when buying antiquities on eBay and informing sellers of their obligations is of paramount importance. Giving our customers the knowledge and engaging that knowledge to help with our investigations work means we have 15 million pairs of eyes and ears out there working with us on a day-to-day basis.

Working with British Museum and PAS and harnessing the strength of our community of buyers and sellers means we have an extensive network to ensure that antiquities are sold legitimately. It is also an excellent example of the way that eBay can work with law enforcement to track people seeking the break the law and bring them to account."

DS Vernon Rapley, head of the Met Police Art & Antiques unit said:

"This is a really good example of the art market and those concerned in the preservation of antiquities working together to help prevent and detect cultural property crimes. We are fully supportive of the initiative and hope that it has a real impact on preventing illicit sales."

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Thornborough Henges Report

Published: Monday 2nd October 2006 Author:

Download the Thornborough Henges Rally report

Over at the British Archaeological Jobs Resouce site (http://www.bajr.org/), a document has been produced as an independent report on the recent metal detecting rally on the land around Thornborough's Henges (not on the protected area). The Henges have been at the centre of a large legal battle revolving around Tarmac's desire to quarry the area. More information on this can be found at Timewatch's website.

Described by English Heritage as the most important ancient site between Stonehenge and the Orkneys

David Connolly volunteered to help the two local FLOs (Simon Holmes and David Evans) record objects and to aid him with his understanding of the (possibly) polarised views of archaeologists and metal detectorists. This has been subjected to some critical discussion on various fora and mailing lists, and I think we have to promulgate this piece of work for others to read. This version has been rewritten by David if you notice any changes.

To summarise, 215 records were created with 46 new finders recording with the Scheme. The details of these objects will appear on our database when the FLOs have entered their details.

Events for Family Learning Week 2006

Published: Wednesday 20th September 2006 Author:

London

Ceinwen Paynton & Waltham Forest (held at the Vestry Museum)
Sat 30th September real finds
Sat 7th October fun and games- PASt explorers
Sat 14th October come and get arty!
A family-friendly environment with free food!

Berkshire and Oxfordshire

Kate Sutton Finds session Sat 14th Oct Thame Museum

Essex

Caroline McDonald: YAC activity, monthly from Sept

North Lincolnshire

Kevin Leahy: academic year 2006-7,Introduction to Anglo-Saxon Archaeology, Hull University
Kevin Leahy: academic year 2006-7,Material Culture, Hull University
Kevin Leahy: academic year 2006-7,Anglo-Saxon Kingdoms of the Humber, Hull University
Lisa Staves: Cross-curricular work from Sept based around Humber Banks sites

West Midlands

Caroline Johnson: Wed 11th Oct, group of adults at the education centre in Radio Stoke

NATIONAL

Geoff Egan: student placement ongoing
Fiona Cameron from UCL - study of C17th glass-bead making waste, (continuing project)

Cambridgeshire

Philippa Walton: Finds Day, 7 October, 10-12 Willingham Library

The Scheme on Radio Stoke

Published: Monday 3rd July 2006 Author:

West Midlands' Finds Liaison Officer, Caroline Johnson is possibly appearing on BBC Radio Stoke, every month starting 19th July. {Subject to final confirmation.}

This will be between 10am and 1pm and programmes will alternately aim at children (19th) and then adults, for example local Historians, amateur archaeologists, societies and metal detectorists.

IFA workplace bursaries

Published: Friday 2nd June 2006 Author:

  • Between 8 and 10 Heritage Lottery funded bursaries will be available every year for 4 years across the UK!
  • Through workplace learning bursaries, IFA aims to address identified archaeological skills gaps, and create opportunities for all sectors of the community to gain professional skills in archaeology
  • Successful candidates will be offered industry recognised workplace training built around the National Occupational Standards in Archaeological Practice
  • Achievements recorded over the course of the placement may count towards a vocational qualification in archaeological practice
  • IFA's vision is for archaeologists to be receiving pay and conditions that are comparable with other professionals
  • Top archaeological hosts across the UK will be offering placements lasting between 3-12 months.

Opportunities in the first year will include:

  • Environmental and finds work with English Heritage
  • Field survey with the Royal Commission on the Ancient and Historical Monuments of Scotland
  • Teaching archaeology with the University of Winchester
  • Human Osteoarchaeology with Queen's University, Belfast
  • Digital archaeology with the Archaeology Data Service
  • Desk based assessment skills with Glamorgan Gwent Archaeological Trust
  • Finds and HER work with Worcestershire County Council
  • Rural archaeology with North Yorkshire County Council

Placements will be widely advertised on the IFA website, in JIS, on BAJR, BEN, Britarch, the Portable Antiquities Scheme website, via the CBA, Heritage Link and higher education institutions.

For more information visit http://www.archaeologists.net or contact natasha.kingham@archaeologists.net

Institute for Field Archaeologists: Workplace learning bursary

Published: Friday 2nd June 2006 Author:

The placement is designed to last for up to six months (July-December 2006) and will provide first-hand experience in archaeological field survey. Based in Edinburgh, the successful candidate will join a team undertaking landscape survey in upland Inverness-shire, and will be expected to undertake fieldwork in all weathers. There may also be an opportunity to use the experience gained in this placement towards a vocational qualification in archaeological practice. Applicants should possess a degree or equivalent qualification and should have a good working knowledge of Scottish archaeology. IFA is an equal opportunities employer and welcomes applications from all sectors of the community.

Salary: £17,588, pro rata, p.a. Closing date: 22nd June 2006

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Finds Roadshow BM Press release

Published: Monday 22nd March 2010 Author:

Your find will be examined and analysed by experts from the British Museum and Portable Antiquities Scheme to see what it is made of and its estimated age. There will also be a chance to see displays of other archaeological finds discovered by members of the public and to learn more about the conservation, identification and recording of finds. Previous roadshow events have uncovered important objects such as a beautiful 7th century pendant from West Shropshire. This find was very significant as this type of high status Anglo-Saxon metalwork is rare, and in Shropshire is almost without precedent. It is only through the logging of such finds that a more complete picture of the archaeological record can be established.

The roadshow will also include special events for children with an opportunity to meet favourite historical characters who will talk about the times in which they lived. A Viking Battle will take place on the forecourt of the Museum and object handling and story telling sessions will allow visitors to get a deeper insight into British archaeology and history.

NEW FIND - The Stilton Cheese Press

As an example of what can be uncovered underground, an almost complete ceramic cheese press dating to the later Roman period has recently been found in the parish of Stilton in Cambridgeshire. The vessel possesses two ridges and two rows of small circular drainage holes. To use the cheese press, curds would be poured into the mould and whey forced to drain away by the application of pressure (probably in the form of a weight). The cheese would be removed and stored in a cool place before being salted and compressed again. The press is a good example of the importance of recording all finds, it may not be made of gold or silver but it gives us a glimpse of a very human past, one populated by ordinary men and women going about their daily lives.

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Finds Roadshow

Published: Monday 15th May 2006 Author:


Saturday 20 May 2006

Great Court

11.00-16:00: Finds identification & recording (have your archaeological finds identified by experts from the British Museum and Portable Antiquities Scheme).

Conservation advice & XRF machine (get advice on how to conserve your finds and have them analysed by British Museum experts – XRF kindly supplied by Oxford Instruments).

Finds displays (displays of recent finds found by metal-detector users).

Roman, Viking and Elizabethan re-enactors (meet your favourite historical characters and experience the times they lived in – if weather is fine the Viking camp will be outside in the front court).

Demonstration of the virtual Anglo-Saxon village of West Mucking (hear about the village and then go and explore it yourself in the Reading Room – see below).

13.00: Viking Battle (outside in the front court if weather is fine).

15.30: Viking Battle (outside in the front court if weather is fine).

Reading Room

10.00-16.00: Family Back Packs (find out about archaeology using our Archaeology family back pack - available from the Enquiry desk in the Reading Room).

10.00-17.00: Family Trails (find out about Anglo-Saxon objects with the Exploring Britain family trail - available from the front desk in the Reading Room).

10.00-17.30: Virtual Anglo-Saxon village of West Mucking (explore the village yourself and have a go at some archaeological field-work).

11.00-11.30 Object handling (handle real archaeological finds in the Children’s library).

12.00-12.30: Object handling (handle real archaeological finds in the Children’s library).

14.00-14.30: Story-telling (hear a story in the Children’s library).

15.00-15.30: Story-telling (hear a story in the Children’s library).

Galleries

11.00-16.00: Object handling (handle real archaeological finds – Room 36).

12.30-13.00: Talk: terrible Tudors tamed (Silke Ackerman, Room 46).

13.30-14.00: Talk: Viking Treasure - the Cuerdale Hoard (Barry Ager, Room 41).

14.00-14.30: Talk: England's answer to Charlemagne? The new gold coin of Coenwulf of Mercia (Gareth Williams, Room 68).

14.30-15.00: Talk: Treasure of Celtic Europe & Roman Britain (Richard Hobbs, Room 2).

91 - 100 of 250 records.

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