Launch of PAS and Treasure Annual Reports

Published: Monday 28th November 2016 Author:

This morning, at the launch of the Portable Antiquities Scheme (PAS) and Treasure annual reports at the British Museum, Matthew Hancock, Ministerof State for Culture, Communications and Creative Industries, announced the recording of a further 82,272 archaeological finds made by the public in 2015). Finds discovered include a Bronze Age gold torc (CAM-E5D871; the largest ever found), a beautifully enamelled Anglo-Saxon mount (SUSS-F9E7AA)and an intriguing hoard of silver coin clippings deposited in the late 17th century (GLO-0794E0). These finds, and others, are rewriting the archaeology and history of Britain and enabling people across the county to learn more about the past of their local area.

A further 1,008 Treasure finds have been reported this year in England, Wales and Northern Ireland, of which the most significant have been acquired by museums across the country; next year the British Museum with its local partners will be celebrating 20 years since the the Treasure Act came into force, and the establishment of the PAS.

The PAS has recorded over 1.2 million archaeological finds to date (since 1997). This data has been widely used by academics, students and many others by searching the PAS database (www.finds.org.uk/database). PAS data has been used in over 528 research projects, including 25 pieces of large-scale reaserch and 110 PhDs.

The PAS is a partnership project, managed by the British Museum working with at least 119 national and local partners to deliver the Scheme's aims. It is an important part of the British Museums' National Programmes activity which extends across the UK.

As part of the HLF funded project PASt Explorers, the PAS is working with volunteers across the country to record archaeological finds made by the public and get involved in archaeology. In 2015, 259 volunteers, including 100 self-recorders (metal-detectorists who record their own finds on the PAS database), have contributed to the work of the Scheme.

The PAS is now working closely with other Europe areas, including Denmark, Flanders and the Netherlands, where initatives are underway to record archaeological finds made by the public. Also there are plans for these recording schemes to work even closer together, to share information about archaeological discoveries and recording them. A North Sea Area finds recording group has been recently established to take this forward.

Tracey Crouch, Parliamentary Under Secretary of State for Sport, Tourism and Heritage said "It is fascinating to think that, thanks to the PAS and Treasure Act, the public are rewriting the history and archaeology of this country. That so many amazing finds are made each year is testimony ot the diverse and long history of England and Wales and it is marvelous that these finds then end up in museums across the country for all to enjoy".

Hartwig Fischer, Director of the British Museum, said "The British Museum is a world museum but it is also a museum for Britain. The PAS contributes enormously to our National Programme activity and our work across the country. It is an amazing partnership, drawing together over 100 local museums and other organisations to deliver the Scheme's aims of recording the past to advance knowledge and sharing that knowledge with all".

Both reports are available for download from the Publications tab on this website

Contact: Michael Lewis 02073238611

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