Success of the PAS and Treasure Act in 2019

Last month (March 2020), just before ‘lockdown’ in the UK, the British Museum revealed that the number of Treasure finds made by the public in England, Wales and Northern Ireland has once again hit a record level - 1,311 cases reported in 2019.

One of the most significant recent Treasure finds is a beautifully crafted Anglo-Saxon brooch unearthed in Great Dunham, Norfolk (pictured). It is a rare type for the period, intricately decorated with plants and animal motifs in the lively ‘Trewhiddle’ style and can be paralleled with examples in the British Museum found at nearby Pentney.

Including Treasure, a total of 81,602 finds made by the public were recorded with the British Museum’s Portable Antiquities Scheme (PAS) last year, enabling archaeologists and other people interested in archaeology to learn more about Britain’s past. The reporting on non-Treasure also demonstrates the enthusiasm and commitment of the finders, most being metal-detectorists, since they have no legal obligation to record these finds, but do so to share the thrill of discovery and what they find, also adding to knowledge.    

Currently there are almost 1.5 million archaeological objects recorded by the PAS on its online database -, which is freely accessible to all. The latest report on the work of the PAS (in 2018) can be found here:

[The PAS is managed by the British Museum in England and Amgueddfa Cymru – National Museum Wales, and exists to document archaeological objects found by the public, to further our understanding of the past. Part of the British Museum’s commitment to work around the UK, the PAS is a partnership project, working with about 100 national and local partners. The Scheme is delivered through a network of locally based archaeologists known as Finds Liaison Officer (FLOs), who reach-out to the public and record their finds].