Shropshire Council

Finds recording and identification

Every year hundreds of thousands of geological, archaeological and historic objects are discovered in Britain. Some are discovered by people using metal detectors, but also by people out walking, digging in their gardens or whilst going about their daily lives. Yet only a small proportion of these finds are ever seen by museums or field archaeologists.

Finding something from the distant past can be exciting, but the real thrill comes from knowing how it was made and used all those years ago. Our finds recording and identification service will help you discover the importance of your find to our understanding of history, and give you advice on how to care for your finds. We also offer advice and assistance relating to the Treasure Act which covers prehistoric items, some items made of precious metal and groups of coins. In such cases your finds may be passed on to the Portable Antiquities Scheme to help you report your find.

The Portable Antiquities Scheme

In 1996 the Department for Culture, Media and Sport launched a series of pilot projects across England and Wales to encourage the recording of archaeological finds. This scheme aims to establish links between finders and professional archaeologists, and to promote high standards in the recording of finds, thereby creating a detailed database of information for all interested parties to use.

Our finds liaison officer, Peter Reavill, would be most grateful if people would come forward with their finds to enable us to record these clues to Shropshire's distant past. Bringing your finds in for recording won't mean that they'll be taken away from you. The scheme will borrow them, record them and return them to you. The scheme aims to complete all identifications within four to eight weeks. However, due to the current demand on the scheme some identifications are taking longer than usual and the process may take several months to complete. To arrange an identification please contact Peter (email peter.reavill@shropshire.gov.uk, phone 01743 254748).

Further details about the Portable Antiquities Scheme and the finds recorded so far can be found on the project's website.