Treasure Annual Report 2007

The cover of the 2007 combined reportsThis report was a combined edition with the Portable Antiquities Scheme Annual Report and can be downloaded in pdf format - 13.3 MB.

It gives me great pleasure to introduce the first ever joint Portable Antiquities Scheme and Treasure Annual Report. This outlines the Scheme’s work; explains the Treasure process and highlights some of the finds made in 2007.

In previous years these reports were published separately but when the British Museum, which manages the Scheme on behalf of the Museums, Libraries & Archives Council, took over the administration of Treasure and the Treasure Valuation Committee in March 2007 they decided to combine them. This also recognises the fact that the distinction between Treasure and other archaeological finds is primarily a legal one and does not necessarily relate to their archaeological value.

In 2007, a further 66,311 archaeological finds were recorded by the Portable Antiquities Scheme and
another 747 Treasure finds were reported. More than a third of the latter will be acquired by museums
for public benefit. But, possibly more importantly, the reporting and recording of all archaeological finds through the Scheme and under the Treasure Act will help archaeologists and other researchers to understand the past better, how and where people lived, what they made and what they did.

We owe a huge debt of thanks to the people who volunteered their finds for recording under the Scheme
or reporting under the Treasure Act. I would also like to pay tribute to the work done by the members of
the Treasure Valuation Committee: Trevor Austin, Ian Carradice, John Cherry, Peter Clayton, Jack Ogden,
Tim Pestell, May Sinclair and their chairman, Norman Palmer. This could not be done without the support the Committee receives from a panel of expert advisers:

Emily Barber (Bonhams), Mark Bowis (Christie’s), Peter Clayton (Seaby’s), James Ede (Charles Ede Ltd),
Tom Eden (Morton and Eden), Richard Falkiner, James Morton (Morton and Eden), Judith Nugee (Christie’s), Michael Sharp (Dix Noonan Webb), Peter Spencer and Chantelle Waddingham (Bonhams).

I would also like to thank the funding bodies that play such an essential part in the acquisition of Treasure finds by museums; in particular, the Art Fund, the V&A/ MLA Purchase Grant Fund, the Headley Museums Treasure Acquisition Scheme, the National Memorial Fund, and the Heritage Lottery Fund.

Gratitude is also due to the 58 finders and landowners who waived their right to a reward in 2007 and allowed museums to acquire finds at no, or a very reduced, cost to the taxpayer.

The Government recognises the fact that the Portable Antiquities Scheme plays a very valuable role in supporting the Treasure Act; its Finds Liaison Officers advise people on their legal obligations, inform them about the Treasure process, courier finds, and write reports on them. It is this work which has produced an almost 194% increase in the reporting of Treasure since 2003 when the Scheme was extended to cover all of England and Wales.

The work of the Scheme is supported by the Department of Portable Antiquities and Treasure at the British Museum, the 33 local partners that host Finds Liaison Officer posts, and the Portable Antiquities
Advisory Group, which is now supplemented by the Portable Antiquities Management Group. In addition,
the Finds Liaison Officers, and the Scheme more generally, are supported by museum curators and others associated with the heritage sector in England and Wales.

This network of support is a testament to the success of the Scheme and it is, therefore, no surprise that Kate Clark’s Review of the Portable Antiquities Scheme, which was commissioned by the MLA and the British Museum in 2008, found it to be both effective and efficient.

Finally, I would like to commend the British Museum’s Department of Portable Antiquities and Treasure for its monitoring of eBay to look for items of unreported Treasure. The Government takes this offence very seriously indeed and will continue to work closely with all interested parties to make vendors aware of the law, to ensure that the marketplace in antiquities is transparent and open, and, finally, to help people who come into possession of antiquities understand their obligations.

Margaret Hodge Minister for Culture November 2009