Annual Report 2003 - 2004

Download the entire copy of the annual report in pdf format.Cover of the 2003 - 2004 report

The main achievements of the Portable Antiquities 9 Scheme in the period 1 April 2003 until 31 March 2004 can be summarised as follows:

Extent of the Scheme

During the period of this report the Scheme was extended to all parts of England and Wales, and now employs 36 Finds Liaison Officers. The central unit comprises a Head and Deputy Head, Administrator, Education Officer, ICT Adviser and five Finds Advisers.

Recognition of success

The success and contribution of the Scheme was recognised by politicians of all parties in numerous parliamentary debates during the period of this report. In Protecting our Marine Historic Environment (published March 2004), the Scheme is acknowledged as a model arrangement for reporting archaeological objects. Likewise, following a Review of Treasure Trove Arrangements in Scotland (published April 2003) it has been recommended that Scotland (like England and Wales) should have its own team of Finds Liaison Officers to proactively record archaeological objects found by the public.

Objects recorded

A further 47,099 archaeological objects have been recorded over the year, some of which are illustrated in this report. Of these, nearly two thirds have been discovered using a metal-detector, but the rest have been found by other means. This report also shows that the presence of a Finds Liaison Officer may increase the reporting rate of potential Treasure finds by an average of five times. Liaison The Finds Liaison Officers have liaised with 2,376 finders, attended at least 523 metal-detecting club meetings and 564 other meetings. They have maintained regular contact with at least 141 metal-detecting clubs and numerous amateur archaeological groups.

New sites discovered

Many important new archaeological sites have been discovered as a result of the finds recorded by the Finds Liaison Officers. These include a highly significant Iron Age site in East Leicestershire, a Roman cremation burial from Kent and an Anglo-Saxon cemetery on the Isle of Wight.

Findspot information

Over 91 per cent of finds recorded have been recovered from cultivated land, where they are susceptible to plough damage and artificial and natural corrosion processes. 73 per cent of finds are now being recorded to the nearest 100 square metres (a six-figure National Grid Reference) or better, and over one third of all finds are being recorded to the nearest 10 square metres (an eight-figure National Grid Reference).

Finds data

The finds data generated by the Scheme is to be made available to Historic Environment Records (HERs) – the key record holders for information about the historic environment – and is published on the Scheme’s website


302 talks (attended by 8,977 people) have been given about the Portable Antiquities Scheme. 587 Finds Days, exhibitions or other events (attended by 13,260 people) have been organised. 393 articles about the work of the Scheme have been published or broadcast.


There have been 7,808,438 hits of the Scheme’s website – – in the period of this report. At the end of this reporting period the online database allows public access to 64,552 records and 21,591 images. Publication Several publications associated with the work of the Scheme have appeared in the period of this report, including the Treasure Annual Report 2001 and the Portable Antiquities section of Medieval Archaeology volume 47 (2003).