News from the Scheme

Art and Artefacts exhibition

Published: 13 years ago Author:

Art and Artefacts - Saturday 3rd May until Sunday 1st June

Alan Cracknell, local Winchester artist, produces detailed, intricate and intensely coloured paintings inspired by his interest in the natural world, history and archaeology. Reminiscent of medieval manuscript illumination, the paintings often incorporate text, names of ancient lanes or fields, or precious objects excavated from the earth.

This exhibition combines his latest work with a display of objects brought into Winchester Museums by members of the public for identification and recording under the Portable Antiquities Scheme. Many of these items, from across Hampshire, have never been exhibited in public before.

Alan said:

I am delighted to have this opportunity to exhibit in City Space and to display my paintings together with the drawings I produce for the PAS alongside the objects featured in the exhibition.

Since 1999 the Portable Antiquities Scheme has been helping us understand Hampshire's past better by recording over 14,500 objects found by members of the public. Its representative in the county, Finds Liaison Officer Rob Webley, said:

I'm excited that people can get to see up close some of the amazing artefacts I'm lucky enough to record. Seeing them on our website is one thing, but don't miss this opportunity to admire the craftsmanship first hand.

As part of the scheme Alan also produces detailed drawings that record these objects in far greater clarity than a photograph ever could. These drawings, together with his paintings and the fascinating objects on display, provide visitors with a unique insight into how an artist working today is influenced by artefacts from the past.

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Carr Manor Archaeology Project Press Release

Published: 14 years ago Author: Cei Paynton

The PAS, Leeds Metropolitan University Carnegie Faculty of Sport and Education, West Yorkshire Archaeology Advisory Service, Education Leeds, Leeds Museums and Galleries and Royal Armouries are all working together in a ground-breaking school archaeology project next week!

The project, which involves students from Headingley Campus, specialists and hundreds of school children and will be is at Carr Manor Primary School on the 8th, 9th and 10th May 2007. Children will work in trenches in the school grounds with hand-held GPS and metal detectors. Re-enactors and Royal Armouries education specialists will also be on hand and there will also be a community field walking exercise involving parents of pupils at Carr Manor Primary School and Meanwood Church of England Primary School.

This project seeks to promote excellence and enjoyment through providing a very rich learning environment in which children can begin to reconstruct the past. It provides a very high quality training experience which encourages students to develop professionally and personally towards qualified teacher status.

The project is to be filmed by National Teacher's TV and has been described by Ofsted as 'outstanding'.

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Portable Antiquities Scheme finders win recognition at Dorset Archaeological Awards.

Published: 14 years ago Author: CAHT

Three amateur archaeologists and metal detector users have been placed second in the Dorset Archaeological Awards. The awards are made by the Dorset Archaeological Committee to give recognition to a wide range of projects and individuals in the county. First prize (the Cecil Colyer bowl) was awarded to Christopher Dalton for his three volume publication The Bells And Belfries Of Dorset.

The runner-up place was awarded to John and Verena Harper, together with Denise Parsons, who have been searching land at Compton Abbas for many years. Through metal detecting and surface collection they have retrieved flint, pottery, coins and metalwork dating from the Mesolithic (around 8300 BC) through virtually all periods and into to the 20th century. They have recorded their finds through the local Finds Liaison Officers (Dr Naomi Payne and Ciorstaidh Hayward Trevarthen) and have generated 146 records on Portable Antiquities Scheme database so far. They have a keen desire to discover more about their local area, to record what they unearth and to share the information with others.

Dr Bill Putnam, chair of the judging panel, outlined all the nominations for the award and explained what a difficult task the judging panel had had due to the generally high standard of the entries.

The awards were presented by HRH the Duke of Gloucester in a ceremony held at Sherborne Castle on Friday 27th May. The Duke was impressed by the range of projects represented in the eight nominations.

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Rare new acquisitions on display

Published: 15 years ago 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: 11 years ago Author:

At the Courtyard Theatre, Hereford
On Saturday 21st October 2006

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: 11 years ago Author:

BMpuk.jpgMLA logoeBay logo

The British Museum and the Museums, Libraries and Archives Council (MLA) have partnered with 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 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, which has committed to end illegal listings.The commitment is the latest development in eBay's on-going work with national law enforcement agencies. 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

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, 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: 15 years ago Author:

Download the Thornborough Henges Rally report

Over at the British Archaeological Jobs Resouce site (, 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: 15 years ago Author:


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


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


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


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

The Scheme on Radio Stoke

Published: 15 years ago 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: 15 years ago 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 or contact

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