Hawkshead review of the Portable Antiquities Scheme 2004

The Museums Libraries and Archives Council, commissioned Hawkshead Archaeology and Conservation, as independant consultants to review the progress and activities of the scheme up until September 2004. This review process involved quantative and qualititive market research techniques, including interviews with staff members, members of the Public, internet and paper surveys.

This report has now been published and is available for download as PDF document.

If you don't have Adobe Acrobat Reader installed, you can download this from the Adobe site.

  1. Download report 870 KB
  2. Download Appendices 1MB

The key findings of the Report were:

In Phase 2 of the Portable Antiquities Scheme in 2003-04: Outreach: has increased and the Scheme has extended its audience

  1. Working with 141 metal detecting clubs
  2. Regular contact with over 4000 detectorists
  3. Taking part in 252 finds days attended by over 13,000 people
  4. Giving 304 talks about its work to over 9000 people

Participation has increased

  1. Around 2400 finders reported their finds to the Scheme
  2. 73% are detectorists and 27% are other kinds of finder
  3. Around 30,000 finds were recorded: 68% were reported by detectorists and 32% by others
  4. The number of Treasure finds reported has doubled since 2001 and continues to rise faster than the rate at which other finds are being recorded

Making a difference - 2004 user survey show

  1. Over 75% people think that the Scheme has made a positive change in educating finders and raising awareness about the importance of archaeological finds
  2. In general people think the Scheme needs to do more in educating about good practice and increasing opportunities for public involvement in archaeology
  3. Overall the public are more confident about the positive impact of the Scheme than the archaeological community

The Scheme's website: www.finds.org.uk

  1. Page requests to the Scheme's websites have increased from 1.3 million in 2003 to 7.8 million in 200
  2. Since April 2004 95% of new records on the online database have images

The 2004 user survey shows: 

  1. Most users visit the site occasionally (less than several times a month) but 10% are more frequent user
  2. The most common reason for people to visit the site is to learn about archaeological finds in their area   
  3. 30% of users visit the site to learn about archaeology and finds in general
  4. archaeologists want to see information about recorded finds available in local SMRs and HERs
  5. academics and specialists want to see improvement in the standard of recording
  6. generally users want to see improvements in the speed and searching of the online database and a more user-friendly interface

Changing attitudes - 2004 user survey shows

  1. 70% people think the Scheme is succeeding in changing attitudes about reporting archaeological finds and their importance
  2. People who have been involved with the Scheme are twice as likely to agree that the Scheme is succeeding in changing attitudes (regardless of user group)
  3. The public and those in museums are most confident about this change and those in archaeology are less so