News from the Scheme

Inquest: Gold Medieval Brooch from Shrewsbury

Published: 3 years ago Author:

Medieval gold annular brooch from ShrewsburyMr. Ellery, HM Coroner for Shropshire held an inquest today into a recently discovered Gold Medieval Brooch from Shrewsbury. The brooch was reported through the Portable Antiquities Scheme having been found while searching with a metal-detector on a rally on cultivated land near Shrewsbury during early November 2012.

The brooch is made of gold and is a circular / oval shape - now much distorted. The frame is of triangular section with the upper face being decorated with two floral / flower patterns formed with a central ring around which four petals extend. The interior side of the frame is decorated with a continuous band of punched rings. Whilst the outer is inscribed with a motto written Medieval French in Lombardic script: EN TOD C'EST PRE.The transcription of the motto means in all orafter all it is near. Such mottos usually refer to love with the brooch being a sign or reminder of givers desire / affection and or love. The floral bosses and pin separate the inscription. The reverse of the frame is flat and is not decorated. There is a restriction for the pin on the frame and the pin is complete. Similar annular brooches are dated to the late 13th and 14th centuries - they often hold messages of love, fealty, faith or piety - all of which are courtly or chivalric attributes in the Medieval world. The inscription - and precious metal - both denote that this brooch is of the highest status and would have been worn by a rich noblewoman or important merchants wife.

Shropshire Museums have expressed an interest in acquiring the find for the people of Shropshire - with the hope that it will be displayed in their medieval gallery at Shrewsbury Museum. Now the find has been declared treasure - it will be valued by the Governments Treasure Valuation Committee and the museum will be given a period of grace to raise the relevant funds. These monies will be paid to both the finder and landowner as a reward under the Treasure Act (1996).

Shrewsbury Museum has a number of important medieval treasures on permanent display including:

The Myddle Gold Coins: https://finds.org.uk/database/artefacts/record/id/197988

The Baschurch Hoard: https://finds.org.uk/database/artefacts/record/id/196485

The Condover Ring: https://finds.org.uk/database/artefacts/record/id/470292

Bayston Hill Seal Matrix:

More information and images of the Shrewsbury Brooch (used with permission of British Museum's Portable Antiquities Scheme) can be found here: https://finds.org.uk/database/artefacts/record/id/603058

More information about PAS and Treasure can be found here:

https://finds.org.uk/documents/advice.pdf

Author:

Peter Reavill - Finds Liaison Officer (Shropshire and Herefordshire)

Portable Antiquities Scheme

Email: peter.reavill@shropshire.gov.uk

Tel: 01584 813 641

Web: http://finds.org.uk

Twitter: PAS in the Marches@PeterReavill

8th October 2015

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PAS Annual Conference 2015 - PASt Explorers: Finds recording in the local community

Published: 3 years ago Author:

We are delighted to announce that the Portable Antiquities Scheme's 2015 conference celebrates the launch of PASt Explorers, the Scheme's five year Heritage Lottery Funded project to recruit and train volunteers from local communities, increasing the capacity of the PAS to record archaeological objects found by members of the public.

Wiltshire <abbr title=Wiltshire PAS volunteer examining a Roman vessel hoard from Pewsey. Copyright: Portable Antiquities Scheme. Licence: CC-BY.

This conference aims to illustrate how volunteers have contributed to archaeological knowledge, and asks how we can better demonstrate the impact and celebrate the value of involving volunteers in archaeology on individuals and society as well as understanding our shared past.

The conference takes place in the BP lecture theatre at the British Museum on Monday 23rd November 2015 and is open to all PAS volunteers, staff and researchers. Refreshments (tea/coffee) will be provided free of charge. Lunch can be purchased from one of a selection of restaurants and cafés in and around the British Museum.

A speaker at a podium in the BP lecture theatre at the British Museum talking to a conference crowdA conference at the British Museum. Copyright: Portable Antiquities Scheme. Licence: CC-BY.

Admission to the conference is free but advance booking is essential. Please see the provisional programme and reserve your place on the Eventbrite webpage here:https://past-explorers-2015.eventbrite.co.uk/Registration closes at 12:00 noon on Friday 20th November 2015. We look forward to welcoming many of our colleagues, volunteers and supporters to our conference at the British Museum later in the year.

In future years, a PASt Explorers volunteer conference will be organised separately to the PAS annual conference and this will be held in a different region and venue each year.

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Supporting the Portable Antiquities Scheme

Published: 3 years ago Author:

Over the years we have had many enquiries from our supporters asking how they can further support the Portable Antiquities Scheme and in response to this we have launched a JustGiving page. With your help through JustGiving we can continue re-writing the archaeology and history of England, Wales and your local areas. You can now donate to support the work of the PAS at https://www.justgiving.com/finds/

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Thank You and Good Luck Roger

Published: 3 years ago Author:

Upon the retirement of Roger Bland from the British Museum, all in PAS would like to express a massive debt of gratitude to him for all he has done for British archaeology. His work bringing about the PAS and the reform of Treasure has not only ensured that the most important archaeological finds have been acquired by museums up and down the country for local people to learn about and enjoy, but has also led to a great advancement in knowledge through the recording and further study of these finds, and the identification of new sites that have come to light because of them. Best of luck for the future Roger...

Roger Bland sorting coin hoard bag 1

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PAS at the Festival of British Archaeology 2015 - The North

Published: 3 years ago Author:

In this final instalment, we highlight the 2015 Festival of Archaeology (11th - 26th July 2015) events involving the Portable Antiquities Scheme's (PAS) Finds Liaison Officers (FLOs) in the North of England. The Festival is coordinated by the Council for British Archaeology (CBA) and offers members of the public the chance to explore their local archaeology through a range of outreach events and activities.

On Thursday 16th July (14:00 onwards), South Ribble Museum will be hosting an illustrated lecture and drop-in archaeological finds afternoon with Dot Boughton, FLO for Cumbria and Lancashire. Dot will talk about the discovery and significance of the Silverdale Hoard, the third largest Viking silver hoard,found in 2011 and laterpurchased by Lancashire County Council's Museum Service.As part of the Treasures of South Ribble exhibition, South RibbleMuseum is currently displaying 20 coins from the Cuerdale Hoard, the largest Viking silver hoard from western Europe, on loan from the British Museum. Dot will also be helping to identify and record archaeological finds for members of the public at Kendal Museum on Friday 17th July (11:00 - 14:00).

Number 18: The Silverdale Hoard

FLO for Cheshire, Greater Manchester and Merseyside, Vanessa Oakden, is running a couple of finds surgeries to identify and record finds this July, coinciding with the Festival of Archaeology. She will be at the Museum of Liverpool on Wednesday 15th July (14:00 - 16:00) and at Manchester Museum on Friday 17th July (10:00 - 16:00).

To coincide with the Festival of Archaeology, the Royal Numismatic Society and the British Numismatic Society are hosting a joint day conference on coin hoarding at the Yorkshire Museum, York on Saturday 11th July (10:15 - 16:30) which will discuss the most recent research on the Viking Vale of York treasure and the newly acquired Bedale hoard, amongst others. There will be contributions from several of our current volunteers, Carl Savage (Lancashire and Cumbria) and Rachel Cubitt (North and East Yorkshire), as well as former PAS staff, Andrew Woods and Eleanor Ghey. See the conference's Eventbrite webpage for the full programme and details about booking.

In the North-East, our new FLO for Durham and Darlington, Ellie Cox, will be at the Museum of Archaeology's new gallery at the redeveloped Palace Green Library in Durham to identify archaeological finds unearthed by members of the public on Friday 17th July (13:00 - 15:00).

There are lots of other archaeological outreach activities taking place nationwide this July and you can search to find out what's happening on your doorstep on the Festival of Archaeology's website. If you're attending a Festival event, make sure to complete the Festival's visitor survey about your experience for a chance to win a £50 Amazon voucher. If you don't get to meet your local Finds Liaison Officer at one of their finds days this month, check our upcoming events to find out when your local FLO is holding their next drop-in session.

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PAS at the Festival of British Archaeology 2015 - The Midlands

Published: 3 years ago Author:

The Council for British Archaeology's (CBA) twenty-fifth annual Festival of Archaeology takes place this month (11th - 26th July 2015) and following round-ups of the events involving Portable Antiquities Scheme (PAS) staff in the South East and South West of England, this instalment looks at what our Finds Liaison Officers (FLOs) and volunteers based in the Midlands are taking part in.

Wendy Scott (FLO for Leicestershire and Rutland) is attending an Anglo-Saxon activity day at Harborough Museum on Wednesday 22nd July (10:00 - 16:00). Finds from the Time Team excavation of an Anglo-Saxon burial ground at West Langton will be on display and Wendy, who attended the Time Team excavation, will be showing other Anglo-Saxon artefacts from the district recorded by the PAS. Wendy is also attending Charnwood Museum's 'Day of Archaeology' on Saturday 25th July (11:00 - 16:00). Visitors can bring any finds to be identified and recorded by her as well as having a go at detecting for 'treasure' in a sandpit with members of Loughborough Coin and Search Society.

Our new FLO for Derbyshire and Nottinghamshire, Alastiar Willis, will be at Derby Museum and Art Gallery on Wednesday 22nd July (10:00 - 14:00) for an archaeological finds day identifying artefacts brought along by visitors and presenting treasures from the Museum's collection in object handling activities.

For further information about these and other events taking place in the Midlands during the 2015 Festival of Archaeology please see the CBA's Festival website. The fourth and final instalment about the PAS' involvement in the Festival of Archaeology, to be posted here soon, will look at events taking place in the North of England.

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PAS at the Festival of British Archaeology 2015 - The South East

Published: 3 years ago Author:

In this second instalment, we look at upcoming events involving the Portable Antiquities Scheme's (PAS) Finds Liaison Officers (FLOs) in South-East England as part of the 2015 Festival of Archaeology (11th - 26th July). The Festival of Archaeology is a nationwide fortnight-long festival of outreach events and activities offering members of the public the chance to explore their local archaeology. The annual Festival is coordinated by the Council for British Archaeology (CBA) and celebrates its twenty-fifth year in 2015.

Anni Byard, the Scheme's FLO for Oxfordshire and West Berkshire, is helping to supervise the Discovering Dorchester research project run by Oxford Archaeology and the University of Oxford's School of Archaeology. Dorchester is the only known site of Iron Age, Roman and Anglo-Saxon urban settlement unobscured by later development. The sixth season of excavations returns to Dorchester's allotments to continue exploring the early 2nd and 1st century AD Roman town. The excavation team are regularly updating ablog about the discoveries being made on site, and there will be an open day on Saturday 18th July (12:30 - 17:00) with guided tours of the excavation trenches and finds and hands on activities. As well as being the Finds Officer at Dorchester, Anni will also be identifying finds at the West Berkshire Museum in Newbury on Wednesday 15th July (14:00 - 16:00), and at Abingdon County Hall Museum on Thursday 23rd July (10:30 - 16:00) alongside Roman themed family activities and the Gateway to the Gods exhibition about Roman settlement in the area.

Shorwell, Isle of Wight - Midsummer Fair

On the Isle of Wight, our FLO for the island, Frank Basford, will be at Newport Roman Villa on Saturday 25th July (11:00 - 15:00) to identify and record finds brought along by visitors. There will also be a range of craft activities and a family treasure hunt on offer at the villa. Back on the mainland, Faye Minter of the Suffolk PAS team will also be on hand to identify archaeological finds discovered by members of the public at Quatrefoil's 'Bringing Local History Alive' event presenting their research on the local history of several mid-Suffolk villages on Saturday 11th July (10:00 16:00) at St Mary's Church Rickinghall Inferior.

This month, Jen Jackson (FLO for Medway and Kent) is holding drop-in finds identification surgeries at Maidstone County Hall on Friday 17th July (17:00 - 18:00) and at the Beany in Canterbury on Monday 20th July (10:00 - 13:00). She is also offering dedicated appointments on these two days but these must be booked in advance.

As well as these open days and finds surgeries, our newly appointed FLO for Essex, Ben Paites will be heading a Twitter campaign during the Festival of Archaeology on the Colchester Museums Twitter feed, profiling finds that have come into the museum through PAS (both Treasure and other finds) and explaining about his role as a FLO for the county.

Find out what our FLOs in the Midlands are up to during the Festival in the third of four instalments, coming soon. For further information about events taking place in the South-East during the 2015 Festival of Archaeology please see the CBA's Festival website.

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PAS at the Festival of British Archaeology 2015 - The South West

Published: 3 years ago Author:

Celebrating its twenty-fifth year, the Festival of Archaeology is a nationwide fortnight-long festival of outreach events and activities coordinated by the Council for British Archaeology (CBA) which offers members of the public the chance to explore their local archaeology. In the first of four instalments about the Portable Antiquities Scheme's (PAS) involvement in the 2015 Festival of Archaeology (11th - 26th July), we take a look at events run and attended by the Scheme's Finds Liaison Officers (FLOs) in the South-West of England.

Danielle Wootton, FLO for Devon, returns to the Romano-British site at Ipplepen this month for a fifth season of excavations led by the University of Exeter, the PAS' partner hosts for the county. The site was discovered by metal detectorists who found and reported a concentration of Roman coins to the PAS. The subsequent excavations have revealed a Roman road and an important late- and post-Roman cemetery, thought to relate to the largest Roman settlement west of Exeter, featured in the third series of the BBC programme Digging for Britain earlier this year. The PAS' National Finds Adviser for Iron Age and Roman Coins, Sam Moorhead, will be joining Danielle for the excavation open day on Saturday 25th July 2015, which will include stalls, reenactors and children's activities. The Ipplepen Community Hub behind the village's Methodist Church will be serving refreshments and displaying information about the archaeological project. If you can't make it to the open day then you can read about this year's discoveries on the Ipplepen Archaeological Project blog.

Royal Cornwall Museum, Fab Finds Day

Our FLO for Cornwall, Anna Tyacke, also has a busy July ahead. She will be on hand to identify archaeological finds at both the 'Hands on History' day at Royal Cornwall Museum on Saturday 18th July (10:00 - 16:00), and an open day at the ongoing Bronze Age and Iron Age excavations at Boden on the Lizard Peninsula on Saturday 11th July (10:30 - 17:00). The Royal Cornwall Museum's Hands on History Hub is a brand new interactive learning resource for engaging visitors with the Treasure finds on display in the Museum through reproduction objects, games and activities. On the 18th July, the Hub will be shining the spotlight on seal matrixes with a 'Sealed in the Past' workshop.

In Dorset, the county's FLO, Ciorstaidh Hayward-Trevarthen, is attending lots of events during the Festival to meet members of the public. She will be in the village of Long Bredy in west Dorset on Saturday 25th July (11:00 - 16:30) for a day of test-pit digging and geophysical survey with local residents to find evidence of the settlement's early origins, followed by the experimental archaeology day with fun family activities at the Ancient Technology Centre in Cranborne on Sunday 26th July (10:00 - 16:00). Earlier in the month, Ciorstaidh will be running a drop-in finds identification service to coincide with a community open day at Priest's House Museum and Garden in Wimborne on Saturday 18th July (10:00 - 16:00), as well as at Sturminster Newton Museum on Thursday 23rd July (10:00 - 15:00).

Kurt explains things

Similarly, Laura Burnett (FLO for Somerset) will be at a public finds identification day at Wells and Mendip Museum on Thursday 23rd July (11:00 -15:00) to help identify and record archaeological artefacts found by the public whilst out walking, gardening or metal detecting. Completing the PAS' line up of events in the South-West, Kurt Adams (FLO for Gloucestershire and Avon) will be at Blaise Castle House Museum for an event celebrating Bristol's archaeology on Sunday 26th July (11:00 - 16:00).

For further information about these and other events taking place in the South-West during the 2015 Festival of Archaeology please see the CBA's Festival website. The second instalment about the PAS' involvement in the Festival of Archaeology, to be posted here soon, will look at events taking place in the South East of England.

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Detectorists' finds go on public display

Published: 3 years ago Author:

Artefacts found by metal detector users have gone on display at The Oxfordshire Museum in Woodstock for the first time. The Portable Antiquities Scheme working with the Oxford Blues Metal Detecting Club and Oxfordshire County Museum Services have created a display showing some of the most important and exciting finds made by members of the club. A silver Roman coin hoard, a rare medieval dog-lead harness and a gilded Saxon brooch are just a few of the objects on display until the end of August. This is the first time that objects discovered and owned by detector users have gone on display in the museum, and it is hoped this will become a regular feature.

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Grant to support the study of PAS finds from Cheshire

Published: 3 years ago Author:

An exciting opportunity has been offered by Chester Archaeological Society to encourage the study and publication of objects (or groups/types of object) reported to the Portable Antiquities Scheme from Cheshire and adjoining areas, to ensure that their potential contribution to the understanding of the archaeology and history of the county is realised. It is therefore offering a grant of GBP 700 every two years to help suitable persons to undertake such research. It is a condition of the grant that the results of the research shall be offered for first publication as an article in the Journal of the Chester Archaeological Society.

Currently 5,591 objects have been recorded on the database from Cheshire and this grant will allow these finds to be researched in more detail adding to our knowledge of Cheshire's past.

For more information and an application form visit http://www.chesterarchaeolsoc.org.uk/grants&awards.html

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