Treasure Annual Report 2008

The report can be downloaded as a pdf (258 kb).

I am very pleased to introduce the Treasure Annual Report 2008, which provides a report on the operation of the Treasure Act 1996 during 2008.

It is widely recognised that the Treasure Act 1996 has been extremely successful. Increasing numbers of finds are being reported: up from 747 in 2007 to 806 in 2008, and more than a 300% increase on finds reported during the first year of the Act (1998). The Act ensures that the most important archaeological discoveries are acquired by museums for public benefit and 265 were acquired in 2008.

There are a number of people to whom I would like to record my thanks. I am very grateful for the work of the Portable Antiquities Scheme (PAS) and its dedicated network of Finds Liaison Officers (FLOs), who work closely with finders, advising them of their legal obligations, helping them report finds, and, together with curators at the British Museum and National Museum of Wales, writing reports on the items found. This report shows that since 2003, when the PAS was extended to the whole of England and Wales, there has been an average increase of almost 210% in the reporting of Treasure.

I would also very much like to thank all the finders who have promptly reported Treasure in 2008. I am especially grateful to those finders and landowners who have donated finds to museums without claiming financial rewards, in order to reduce the financial burden on museums. In 2008 finders and landowners waived their rewards in 51 cases and their details are included in the tables on pages xiii–xxxviii.

I am also very grateful to the curators and conservators at national museums, who have written reports for coroners and/or undertaken scientific analysis on Treasure finds and the coroners who hold inquests on Treasure finds. I would also like to thank the Treasure team in the Department of Portable Antiquities and Treasure at the British Museum, who have managed the Treasure process and ensured the speedy payments of rewards.

It is also extremely important to recognise the hard work of the Treasure Valuation Committee and its Chairman, Norman Palmer, who have worked diligently to provide me with independent advice on the valuations of Treasure finds. I would also like to especially thank the funding bodies whose grants have enabled museums to acquire Treasure. Grants have been provided for items found in 2008 by the Art Fund, Headley Trust, Heritage Lottery Fund, Pilgrim Trust and the V&A/MLA Purchase Grant Fund.

Ed Vaizey

Minister for Culture, Communications and Creative Industries November 2010