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Portable Antiquities Scheme

Main Project Information
Where England

The Portable Antiquities Scheme is a voluntary scheme for the recording of archaeological objects found by members of the public. Archaeological objects discovered by the public are commonly referred to as "finds", "small finds" or "portable antiquities." The Scheme was established to promote the recording of chance finds and broaden public awareness of the importance of such objects for understanding our past.

The heart of the organization is its network of "Finds Liaison Officers," who have a role in recording and publishing reported finds, giving advice on finds recording and conservation, giving talks and lectures, and encouraging liaison between members of the public, metal detector users, archaeologists, and museums.

Volunteers record details of their discoveries, including description, weight, relevant measurements, and where and how the objects were found. The Scheme website provides a searchable database with details of over 140,000 finds recorded by volunteers. You can also view some of the many interesting and unusual find that have been recorded so far.

How to Join

Contact a Finds Liaison Officer in your area:

You can also download a general information pack here:

Social Media
Required Gear

A metal detector.

Ideal Age Group Adults
Spend the Time outdoors
Type of Activity At the beach, On a walk, run
Media Mentions
and Publications
Project Updated 04/21/2017