The Forgotten Past: post-medieval small finds and their contribution to our understanding of the past

Published: 7 years ago Author:

A heraldic pendantA Portable Antiquities Scheme and Finds Research Group Conference
Stevenson Lecture Theatre, British Museum Monday 21 October 2013 10am-5pm

Once given little consideration by most archaeologists, post-medieval material was the 'stuff machined through' to get to the 'interesting layers' below. However, thanks to changing attitudes amongst archaeologists and also a growing dataset of finds recovered by metal-detectorists and others now being recorded with the Portable Antiquities Scheme, there is increasing awareness of the importance of post-medieval finds for understanding the past. It is this interest, and research into such finds, that will be highlighted at this conference.

People giving papers at this conference have been asked to consider the following questions while highlighting their research. Why record post- medieval material, and are there aspects that can be disregarded or selectively studied? What types were once thought of rare, but are now considered quite common, and does that change how we feel about what we record? What have we discovered that is new, and does this help with future research agendas? Post-medieval finds have greater potential to link objects to specific people or occasions, so does that make certain objects more interesting or important? How does the recording of post-medieval finds advance research?

Speakers include:

  • Gary Bankhead
  • Laura Burnett
  • Stuart Campbell
  • Helen Geake
  • Kevin Leahy
  • Brian Read
  • Ian Richardson
  • Eleanor Standley.

The cost of the conference is £10 for members of the FRG and £15 for non-members. To book a place please send a cheque made payable to 'The British Museum' to Janina Parol, Department of Portable Antiquities & Treasure, British Museum, London, WC1B 3DG. Tel: 020 7323 8546. Email:

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Contact: Janina Parol 020 7323 8546

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