News from the Scheme

Manchester Museum Finds Surgery

Published: 18 years ago Author:

Nick Herepath, North West Find Liaison Officer, will be holding a finds surgery at Manchester Museum on Sunday October 19th between 11.30-12.30 and 14.30-15.30. This is one of the public events being staged to celebrate the re-opening of the Museum after extensive refurbishment.

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New finds liaison officers announced

Published: 18 years ago Author:

A further batch of new Finds Liaison Officer posts has now been appointed, as well as a Finds Adviser (Medieval & Post Medieval Objects) and an Education Officer.

Anna Tyacke Cornwall Finds Liaison Officer
(tel: 01872 272205; e-mail:
Anna specialised in Anglo-Saxon archaeology at Cambridge, and later completed a Masters degree in Museum Studies at Leicester. Anna has since worked on several archaeological sites and in museums throughout the world! She is interested in Bronze Age metalwork, but has a special passion for Anglo-Saxon jewellery.

Caroline McDonald Finds Liaison Officer Essex
(tel: 01206 282931/2; e-mail:
In her own words, Caroline is a 'born again Essex girl'! She began her career in television, but later studied archaeology at University College London. Caroline has been volunteering at Colchester Museum for many years and has been an assistant leader at the Colchester branch of the Young Archaeologists' Club for the past two. She is particularly interested in the Late Iron Age of Essex.

Nicole Weller Finds Liaison Officer and Community Archaeologist for Greater London
(tel: 020 7814 5733; e-mail:
Before joining the Scheme, Nicole was the Finds supervisor for Colchester Archaeological Trust. Prior to this, she worked as a finds Assistant for the Essex County Council field unit. Nicole is currently studying part-time for a Masters degree in Archaeology at Birkbeck College.

Frank Basford Finds Liaison Officer for the Isle of Wight
(tel: 01983 823810; e-mail:
Frank has worked as a field archaeologist and illustrator for the Isle of Wight archaeological service for many years now. Over the last 15 years, he has been working closely with local detectorists. Frank is particularly interested in the Bronze Age and in inter-tidal archaeology and co-manages the Isle of Wight's coastal archaeology.

Wendy Scott Finds Liaison Officer Leicestershire and Rutland.
(tel: 0116 264 5807)
Wendy studied History and Archaeology at Trinity College Wales before going on to do a Masters degree in Post Excavation at Leicester. She has spent four years working for the Sites and Monuments Record and has also been in involved in archaeology events days at Leicester. Wendy is interested in all things pre-1066, and is particularly interested in personal ornament and metalwork.

Tom Brindle Northamptonshire Finds Liaison Officer.
(tel: 01604 237249; e-mail:
Tom studied archaeology at Cardiff University, before undertaking a Masters degree in Archaeological Heritage Management at York University. Prior to this Tom worked as a site supervisor and topographical surveyor in Scotland, Romania and Egypt, and has also worked as an archaeological illustrator.

Philippa Walton Finds Liaison Officer for the North East.
(tel: 0191 222 7846; e-mail:
Philippa studied Anglo-Saxon, Norse and Celtic, and also Classics at Cambridge before joining Oxford Archaeology as Finds researcher. She has worked with finds assemblages from many sites, her favourite being the Hellenistic and Roman city of Zeugma, Turkey, where she managed the post excavation programme of finds research. Philippa is particularly interested in Roman metalwork.

Liz Wilson Sussex Finds Liaison Officer.
(tel: 01273 486260; e-mail:
Prior to joining the Scheme, Liz studied archaeology at the University of Nottingham. As part of her degree Liz completed an important piece of research into Iron Age Norfolk. Liz is particularly interested in pottery and flint work

Katie Hinds Wiltshire Finds Liaison Officer.
(tel: 01380 727369; e-mail:
Katie has been with the Scheme for over four years now and previously worked as the Norfolk Finds Liaison Officer. Prior to this she studied Classical Studies before undertaking a Masters degree in Classical Archaeology at Liverpool. Katie is especially interested in Bronze Age metalwork.

David Evans Finds Liaison Assistant Yorkshire.
(tel: 01904 687666; e-mail:
After completing a degree in Archaeology and History at Durham, David studied Medieval Studies at York, and is particularly interested in the Medieval period. He then worked as a field archaeologist for several units in the UK and Germany. Before joining the Scheme, David worked as an administrator at Leeds Metropolitan University.

Central Unit

Ceinwen Paynton Education Officer.
(tel: 020 7323 8618; e-mail:
Ceinwen studied Archaeology and Anthropology at Cambridge, and later took a Masters degree in Landscape Archaeology at the University of Wales. She was one of the original Finds Liaison Officers appointed in 1997, working as the FLO for Yorkshire. On the nights not spent in metal detecting clubs, she did her teacher training at night school. Cei went to work with Time Team as development researcher and finds specialist, but has been lured away from television back to the PAS as Education officer.

Helen Geake Finds Adviser (Medieval and Post-Medieval Objects.)
(tel: 01223 333323)
Helen studied Medieval Archaeology at University College London before completing a PhD on 7th Century Anglo-Saxon cemeteries, and is an expert on all things Anglo-Saxon! She later helped set up a dedicated unit working with metal detectorists at Norfolk Museums Service. Helen joined the Scheme in 2000 as the Suffolk Finds Liaison Officer.

For details of your local Finds Liaison Officer log on to, e-mail:, tel.: 020 7323 8611 / 8618, or write to Portable Antiquities Scheme, c/o Department of Coins and Medals, British Museum, London WC1 3DG.

The new member of the Scheme
Photo (left to right): David Evans, Anna Tyacke, Wendy Scott, Phillipa Walton, Frank Basford, Caroline MacDonald, Liz Wilson, Ceinwen Paynton, Nicole Weller, Tom Brindle, Helen Geake and Katie Hinds 

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Dealing in Cultural Objects (Offences) Bill

Published: 18 years ago Author:

The 'Dealing in Cultural Objects (Offences) Bill' had its second reading in the House of Lords last Friday. Again, thanks to the efforts of Lords Redesdale and Renfrew, the issue of the future of the Scheme was also raised:

Lord Renfrew (Conservative) said 'It is particularly to be welcomed that the Department for Culture, Media and Sport facilitated the establishment of the Portable Antiquities Scheme with 14 liaison officers, and that the scheme has now been expanded to cover the whole of England and Wales with a grant from the Heritage Lottery Fund funding a further 32 liaison officers, thereby establishing a national network. In this way Britain can be said to be playing its part in countering the illicit trade in antiquities, so far as antiquities originating here are concerned. But it is known that the Heritage Lottery Fund grant ends on 31st March 2006 and that it will not be repeated from that source. Can the Minister confirm that the department will undertake the necessary long-term funding of this essential service when the Heritage Lottery Fund payments come to the end of their term in 2006' The Statement made to this House on 10th October 2002 that the Government, "will give active thought to the question of the long-term sustainability of the scheme".-[Official Report, 10/10/02; col. 495.] is welcome, but after a year of "active thought" the time may now be ripe for some concrete planning and indeed budgeting'.

In reply the Parliamentary Secretary of state replied 'I was asked about portable antiquities by the noble Lord, Lord Renfrew of Kaimsthorn. On 8th July, the Secretary of State said to the Select Committee on Culture, Media and Sport that, "we ought to try to ensure that we can fund it"- the portable antiquities scheme- "in the long term". That was the thrust of the noble Lord's point. Obviously, we will have to take that issue seriously in the next spending round'.

Lord Redesdale (Lid-Dem) added 'As the Minister helpfully pointed out, the portable antiquities scheme, which is the backbone of the system for listing small finds throughout the country, is essential. We hope that coins will be presented to the finds liaison officers supported by the scheme. I hope that money can be found to support the scheme. The Secretary of State's comments on the future of the scheme were welcome'.


Finds day - Heritage Weekend Event

Published: 18 years ago Author:

Katie Hinds, Wiltshire Finds Liaison Officer, will be attending a Finds Day at Swindon Museum and Art Gallery. 2:30pm on Sunday 14th September.
You are very welcome to bring along any archaeological finds, found whilst gardening or metal detecting, which she will gladly identify.
These finds will be recorded on our central database which is published via the web.

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Job Vacancies at the Portable Antiquities Scheme

Published: 18 years ago Author:

Finds Adviser (two posts) and Finds Liaison Officers (nine posts).
Applications are invited for eleven archaeological posts (all contracts are for two years and four months), funded by the Heritage Lottery Fund, as part of the Portable Antiquities Scheme. The main aim of the Scheme is to advance our knowledge of the history and archaeology of England and Wales by establishing a system for the voluntary recording of finds of archaeological objects discovered by members of the public, including metal-detector users, and to increase opportunities for active public involvement in archaeology. The data is published on and is made available to the
relevant Sites and Monuments Record. All post-holders will work closely with the Head and Deputy Head of Portable Antiquities.

Finds Adviser
You will check records of relevant objects recorded by the Finds Liaison Officers for consistency and accuracy and edit as necessary; train the Finds Liaison Officers in the identification of coins and provide expert advice on them as required; and publish and research data, liaising with university departments.

Finds Adviser (Iron Age and Roman coins):
Department of Coins & Medals, British Museum (London).
Salary: Scale Band 5, £20,000 (pay award pending)

Finds Adviser (Medieval and post-medieval coins):
Ashmolean Museum (Oxford) andFitzwilliam Museum (Cambridge).
Salary: Scale Oxford RS1A, £18,265-£22,191

Finds Liaison Officers
You will make contact with members of the public including metal-detector users; attend club meetings; explain the aims of the Scheme and the Treasure Act through giving talks; and record finds on the Scheme database.

Berkshire and Oxfordshire: West Berkshire Heritage Service (Newbury, Reading and Standlake).
Salary: West Berkshire Band F, £16,944-£19,185
Cambridgeshire and Peterborough: Cambridgeshire County Council (Cambridge and Peterborough).
Salary: LG Scale 5, £16,944

Derbyshire and Nottinghamshire: Derby City Museum (Derby and Nottingham).
Salary: LG Scale 5, £16,944
Devon: Royal Albert Memorial Museum (Exeter).
Salary: £16,944

Gloucestershire and Avon: Bristol City Museum (Bristol and Gloucester).
Salary: Bristol Grade 8, £16,944-£18,582
Herefordshire and Shropshire: Ludlow Museum (Hereford, Ludlow and Shrewsbury).
Salary: £16,944

Lancashire and Cumbria: Museum of Lancashire (Preston and Carlisle).
Salary: LG Scale 5, £16,944

South and West Yorkshire: West Yorkshire Archaeology Service - Advisory Service (Wakefield and Doncaster).
Salary: LG Scale 5, £16,944

Staffordshire and West Midlands: Birmingham Museum (Birmingham and Stoke on Trent).
Salary: £16,944
For further details and application forms for each of these posts please contact the following:

Finds Adviser, Iron Age and Roman coins:
Finds Adviser, Medieval and post-Medieval coins: Julia Allen, Ashmolean Museum, Oxford, OX1 2PH.
Tel: 01865 278008. Email: julia.allen
For an informal discussion about any of the above posts contact Roger Bland or Michael Lewis on 0207 323 8611.

Finds Liaison Officer, Berkshire and Oxfordshire:
Suzie Pattison , Support Services Assistant, Culture & Youth Service, Avonbank House, West Street, Newbury, Berkshire, RG14 1BZ. Tel: 01635 519127.
For an informal discussion contact Amanda Loaring on 01635 30511.

Finds Liaison Officer, Cambridgeshire and Peterborough:
For more details and an application form go to, click on Jobs and search for reference number VS1648.
If you encounter problems downloading forms contact Quinton Carroll or Sam Wilson. For an informal discussion contact Quinton Carroll. Contacts: Box No ELH1102, Cambridgeshire County Council, Castle Court Shire Hall, Cambridge, CB3 0AP.
Email:  Tel: 01223 718072.
Email: Tel: 01223 712335.

Finds Liaison Officer, Derbyshire and Nottinghamshire:
Personnel Department, Department of Development and Cultural Services, Derby City Council, Roman House, Friar Gate, Derby, DE1 1XB.
Tel: 01332 716656. Textphone: 01336 256666.
Email: vacancies.D& For an informal discussion contact Jonathan Wallis on 01332 716657. Email:

Finds Liaison Officer, Devon:
John Allan, Curator Antiquities, Royal Albert Memorial Museum, Queen Street, Exeter, Devon, EX4 3RX. Tel: 01392 665356. Email:
For an informal discussion contact John Allan (as above).

Finds Liaison Officer, Gloucestershire and Avon:
Bristol City Council, Department of Environment, Transport & Leisure, Human Resources, 4th Floor, Amelia Court, Pipe Lane, Bristol, BS99 1ZG.
Tel: 0117 922 2300 (24hr ansaphone): Job Ref. No. 7594. For an informal discussion contact Ray Barnett on 0117 922 3571 or Jan Wills on 01452 425705.
Email: /

Finds Liaison Officer, Herefordshire and Shropshire and Finds Liaison Officer, Staffordshire and West Midlands:
Phil Watson, Department of Human History, Birmingham Museum and Art Gallery, Chamberlain Square, Birmingham, B3 3DH. Tel: 0121 303 4633.
For an informal discussion about either post contact Phil Watson (as above).

Finds Liaison Officer, Lancashire and Cumbria:
Helen Hemus, Central Office, Lancashire County Museums, Stanley Street, Preston, Lancashire, PR1 4YP. Tel: 01772 534061. For an informal discussion contact Stephen Bull on 01772 534061.

Finds Liaison Officer, South and West Yorkshire:
I. Sanderson, WYAS Advisory Service, Registry of Deeds, Newstead Road, Wakefield, WF1 2DE. Tel: 01924 306801. For an informal discussion contact Ian Sanderson on number above (direct line).

Closing date for applications: 26 September 2003

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Hidden Treasure Roadshows - 11th October 2003

Published: 18 years ago Author:

Hidden Treasure is a new television series that will feature the work of the Portable Antiquities Scheme and highlight the contribution metal-detectorists have made to our understanding of the past. The programmes will be broadcast on BBC TWO on Tuesday's at 8:30pm for eight weeks from the 2nd September until 21st October 2003.

To coincide with the series the Portable Antiquities Scheme and the BBC will run a series of "finds roadshows" also known as finds days on Saturday 11th October 2003.

Finders will be able to bring along their finds for identification and recording to one of eight venues across the country:

Kent FLO recording finds.

Kent Finds Liaison Officer, Andrew Richardson, recording objects at a Finds event.

  • Cambridge (Cambridge Central Library)
  • Cardiff (National Museums & Galleries of Wales)
  • Liverpool (Liverpool Museum)
  • London (Museum of London)
  • Market Harborough (Harborough Museum)
  • Taunton (Somerset County Museum)
  • York (Yorkshire Museum)
  • Worcester (The Commandery, Sidbury)

The most interesting find from each event will be published on the BBC website as part of the BBC Hidden Treasure series, and the finder with the 'top find' will be presented with a BBC book. All the finds recorded will be published on the Portable Antiquities Scheme finds database - helping to add to our knowledge and understanding of the past.


The brooch depicted is from Eastry in Kent.

Further details will be published on the BBC History website ( Alternatively, you may telephone the BBC helpline for further information on 08700 101 616 nearer the time.


A new goddess for Roman Britain

Published: 18 years ago Author:

A fascinating new Roman temple treasure has been discovered near Baldock in Hertfordshire. Found by a metal-detectorist in September 2002, it comprises 26 gold and silver objects, including gold jewellery, a silver figurine and votive plaques of silver alloy and gold. Aware of the importance of his discovery the finder immediately contacted a local archaeologist, who arrived at the site shortly after  the removal of the last pieces of the hoard.
The finder's prompt and responsible action permitted the archaeologist to establish and record the precise circumstances of the find, to help to ensure the retrieval of all remaining fragments of the hoard and to initiate the Potential Treasure process: the district coroner was notified; the find was taken to the British Museum for report and scientific analysis; and on 20 March 2003, the hoard was declared Treasure at a Coroner's inquest.

The Baldock Hoard

Meanwhile, a highly-successful, focused programme of fieldwork has shed valuable light on the context of the find. From the finder's account it would appear that the hoard had been placed in the ground in a compact and ordered manner. The first object he located was the silver figurine which lay on top of the items of gold jewellery and two silver model arms. Beneath those were the closely-stacked gold plaques and under them the silver alloy plaques. No trace of any containers was found.

The silver figurine, almost 15 centimetres high, is of hollow construction and was evidently of good quality, but it has suffered badly from corrosion and damage, especially on the front. It shows a standing woman dressed in a full-length garment, her left shoulder bare and her left arm supporting a fold of drapery.
Her hair is parted on  the crown and formed into a bun on the nape of the neck, but her arms, feet and face are lacking, and no distinctive attribute survives to identify her as a particular deity. Never the less, there is good reason to believe that the image was intended to represent a goddess named Senua.

The clasp from the hoard


What is the evidence?

Well, it comes both from a study of the hoard's votive plaques and from the fieldwork. There are 19 plaques - 12 of silver alloy (badly corroded, brittle and fragmentary) and seven of gold - of a type known from sites in Roman Britain and elsewhere in the Roman Empire. They are made from very thin sheet metal, with embossed and incised decoration, and were intended for dedication at a temple or shrine, to one or more gods or goddesses. Of the 19 plaques in the present hoard five are still stuck together, but of the remaining 14, 12 have an embossed image of a deity and all except one of those depict the goddess Minerva.

It was somewhat surprising, therefore, to discover that all five of those that had an inscribed text recording the deity to whom they had been dedicated named not Minerva but Senua. Furthermore, during the excavation of the hoard's context, a silver base for a figurine was found adjacent to the findspot. It is almost certainly the missing base for the silver figurine, and it too, is inscribed with the name of the goddess Senua. This goddess has not been encountered before, and she is a completely new  deity for Roman Britain and, indeed, the Roman Empire.

The combination of the name Senua with the image of Minerva would suggest the twinning of a local British deity with the popular Roman goddess of wisdom and the crafts. Minerva also had warlike protective powers and an association with healing and with springs, as at Bath, where twinned with Sulis, she controlled Roman Britain's only thermal spring. Senua might have been likened to Minerva for any one, or more, of these perceived powers, and it remains to be seen whether the results of fieldwork will provide any further clues to her identity.

The 3rd or 4th century plaques.

Meanwhile, the inscriptions on the plaques reveal the names of the worshippers: Cariatia (or cariatus), Celsus, Firmanus, Lucilia. Two complete inscriptions record the same vow:

Servandus Hispani willingly fulfilled his vow to the goddess Se(nua)

Votive objects - gifts to a deity in return for favours requested or already granted - took many forms, and it is very probable that the small group of gold jewellery, like the plaques, figurine and model arms, had been dedicated to the goddess Senua.

There are two large circular brooches with coloured glass settings, a neck ornament comprising a pair of small enamelled discs linked by a gold chain, and most impressive of all, a large oval clasp with fine gold ornament and a carnelian gemstone engraved with the figure of a standing lion, its paw resting on an ox skull.

Much work remains to be done on the hoard and on the investigation of its context, and it is likely that there will be new and significant revelations. For the present, although it is impossible to determine unequivocally the reason for its burial, we can date the hoard to the later 3rd or 4th century AD and we can suggest that it was connected to a temple or shrine of the goddess Senua.

This article was originally published in Issue 46 of the British Museum Friends magazine, Summer 2003. It was written by Ralph Jackson, department of Prehistory and Europe.

The hoard has recently featured in the new BBC documentary series, "Hidden Treasure", which screened its first episode on Tuesday 2nd September (BBC2).

  The hoard is of national importance, and has been acquired by the British Museum. Its purchase was generously funded by the British Museum Friends and the National Art Collections Funds (Art Fund).

It will be included in the forthcoming exhibition at the British Museum.Buried Treasure: Finding Our Past opening 21st November 2003.T his hoard of temple treasure is now on display in the British Museum's Weston Gallery (No 49 case 20.)

Tessa Jowell says the Government 'ought to' ensure long-term funding for the Portable Antiquities Scheme.

Published: 18 years ago Author:

In oral evidence given to the Culture, Media and Sport Committee on Tuesday 8th July 2003, Tessa Jowell (Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport) said that the Government 'ought to' ensure the long-term funding of the Portable Antiquities Scheme.

John Thurso (MP for Caithness, Sutherland & Easter Ross) asked the Secretary of State:

'with regard to the [Portable Antiquities] Scheme itself, I think something like 100,000 objects since 1997 have been dealt with which would probably have otherwise gone unrecorded. Firstly, what is the department's attitude towards the Scheme' I hope it will be supportive. Secondly, given that it is currently funded by a variety of bodies, particularly Lottery funding that will run out in 2006, and given that the cost of the Scheme is a very modest 1.2 million a year, would the department be prepared, given its success, to take on board that funding to ensure that the Scheme can go forward in the future'.

In her reply Tessa Jowell said

'this has been a successful Scheme. The early piloting showed that quite quickly. We have Lottery funding for the next three years, as you say. Putting the Portable Antiquities Scheme on a permanent footing will obviously be a decision for the next spending round, but yes, it has proved to be successful and we ought to try to ensure that we can fund it in the long term'.

John Thurso then stated:

'I think that is a very hopeful answer'.

Tessa Jowell replied:

'I think it is as hopeful an answer as you can give if you are Secretary of State facing the next spending round but not having yet negotiated the next spending round'.

To which John Thurso said: 

'I wish you well'.

The full memorandum of the oral evidence given by the Secretary of State can be found at:

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MP calls on Arts Minister to guarantee the future funding of the Portable Antiquities Scheme.

Published: 18 years ago Author:

During a debate in the House of Commons in support of the Dealing in Cultural Objects (Offences) Bill, Richard Allan (Member of Parliament for Sheffield, Hallam) called upon the new Arts Minister, Estelle Morris, to guarantee the future funding of the Portable Antiquities Scheme after March 2006.


He said, in reference to the Portable Antiquities Scheme, 'that excellent Scheme, with its network of local Finds Liaison Officers, has led to the reporting of thousands of cultural objects in this country that would otherwise have gone unrecorded. I hope that the Department will be able to guarantee its future when the current heritage lottery fund arrangements run out...'


The Bill itself - which had the support of the Portable Antiquities Scheme and the National Council for Metal Detecting, amongst others - successfully passed its third reading and will now go on to be debated in the House of Lords.


For a full transcript of the debate click on the external link below:

Update and forthcoming Finds Surgeries

Published: 18 years ago Author:

The 2nd June sees the welcome return of the Ciorstaidh Hayward-Trevarthen (Finds Liaison Officer for Somerset and Dorset) who has been on maternity leave. This, coupled with the new Finds Liaison Assistant post (held by Elaine Howard-Jones) will bring the Scheme within the two counties back up to full strength.

On 10th June an evening Finds Surgery will be held at the village hall of Marston Magna, Somerset for the Marston Magna Society. Later in the summer a Finds Surgery will take place in the foyer of County Hall, Dorchester from 10-4. For further information please contact Ciorstaidh or Elaine.

From left to right: Ciorstaidh Hayward-Trevarthen & Elaine Howard-Jones.

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