Annual report 1999 - 2000

Download copy of the entire annual report

The achievements of the third year of the Scheme (1999-2000) can be summarised as follows:

  • Extent of the Scheme: the number of liaison officers has remained at eleven full-time and one half-time post, which means that the Scheme currently covers about half of England and the whole of Wales. In addition the central unit consists of a co-ordinator and an outreach officer based at the British Museum. During the reporting period, six Heritage Lottery Funded posts came to an end, but funding for all the posts was continued by the Department for Culture, Media and Sport
  • Recognition of success: the Scheme's successes were recognised by the British Archaeological Awards where it received both the Spear and Jackson Silver Trowel for the Best Initiative in Archaeology and the Virgin Holidays Award for Best Presented Archaeological project.
  • Outreach: Through outreach all involved in the Scheme have significantly raised public awareness of the importance of recording finds for our archaeological heritage, and reached new audiences for museums and the heritage sector:
    1. 198 talks have been given about the Scheme (124 to metal detecting clubs and 74 to other bodies)
    2. 196 finds identification days and exhibitions have been staged
    3. pieces in the media have been published or broadcast.
  • Objects recorded: a further 31,783 archaeological objects have been logged which would otherwise have gone unrecorded, adding significantly to our understanding of the material culture and archaeology of England and Wales.
  • Website: The Portable Antiquities website has continued to expand with the number of 'page requests' increasing to around 47,000 a month, representing an increase of 40% on the previous year. The website currently allows access to 8,000 objects recorded under the Scheme and about 600 images. This number will be increased to around 18,000 with about 1,600 images during 2001. The search screen for viewing the data has also been significantly improved.
  • Publications: Three major publications about the Scheme appeared in the last year: the second Annual Report was launched in March 2000; the second issue of the Finding our Past newsletter was published by Resource: the Council for Museums, Archives and Libraries (formerly the Museums & Galleries Commission) in Summer 2000, with funding from the Heritage Lottery Fund. the second issue of Portable Antiquities: Wales, was published in April 2000, also with funding from the Heritage Lottery Fund.
  • Sites and Monuments Records: A large amount of data being gathered by the Liaison Officers has been passed on to Sites and Monuments Records, the key record holders for information about the historic environment. Two major developments have also occurred to greatly enhance the transfer process: a conversion table to allow data to be converted to the exeGesIS SMR software has been completed, and a working group to oversee the transfer to all SMRs has been established.
  • Findspot information: the liaison officers are meeting with increased success in obtaining precise findspot information from finders, with 60 per cent of finds now being recorded to the nearest 100 square metres or better.
  • Finders: the liaison officers have recorded objects found by over 1,788 finders, and maintain regular contact with 108 metal detecting clubs, an increase of 13 from the previous year.
  • Non metal-detected finds: The numbers of objects being recorded from members of the public other than detector users has increased from thirteen per cent to 21 per cent of the total. Worked stone and pottery account for 32 per cent of all objects recorded, and major increase on last year's figure of twelve per cent.
  • Assessment exercise: an assessment of the impact of the pilot Scheme on key stakeholders has been conducted by Dr Gill Chitty of Hawkshead Archaeology and Conservation.