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The Portable Antiquities Scheme (PAS)

Using the Collections

The Portable Antiquities Scheme (PAS)

Archaeological Archives

The Portable Antiquities Scheme (PAS)

Every year thousands of archaeological objects are discovered by members of the public, many by hobbyists metal detecting and magnet fishing, but also by people gardening at home or walking their dogs.

Through PAS these objects can be identified and recorded, helping us to further our historical and archaeological knowledge of England and Wales. These discoveries can then become a resource for the public and researchers, as part of the PAS online database.

The Portable Antiquities Scheme is a national programme, run by the British Museum and Amgueddfa Cymru - National Museum Wales. Please refer to government guidance on searching for archaeological finds.

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Reporting archaeological finds

How to report

Objects that you have found can be brought to your local Finds Liaison Officer (FLO), who will identify and record these objects. Peterborough Museum’s resident FLO is available on Fridays by prior appointment only, appointments can be arranged by emailing pasadministration@cambridgeshire.gov.uk.

If your enquiry does not relate to archaeological material or if you are uncertain if it qualifies for PAS please see the guidance below, or contact museum@peterboroughlimited.co.uk with your enquiry.

Help us record the past: Reporting potential ‘Treasures’

If you believe you have found potential ‘Treasure’, you must report this to the Coroner local to where the object or objects were found. Your local FLO will help you in determining if your find is classed as ‘Treasure’ and can report the find on your behalf.

You must report all ‘Treasure’ finds within 14 days after the day on which you made the discovery, or within 14 days after the day on which you realised the find is a potential ‘Treasure’.

For further guidance please visit, Report treasure, wreck material or archaeological finds

You are legally obliged to report ‘treasure’ finds under the Treasure Act 1996

Responsible metal detecting

Additional information

Reporting heritage crime

Heritage crime is defined as any offence which harms the value of heritage assets and their setting, interfering with the publics enjoyment and knowledge of their heritage and that of future generations. For more information on heritage crime, what is being done to tackle it, or to report a crime please visit historicengland.org.uk.

Exporting Archaeological Material

All archaeological objects found in the ground and certain archaeological & cultural objects that reach or exceed a specific age or value threshold require a licence to export, whether permanently or on a temporary basis.

For more information, guidance or to apply for an export licence, please visit the Arts Council export licencing webpage.

Identifying non-archaeological objects

If you are unsure if your object is archaeological, or if you are uncertain if it qualifies for PAS, please contact Museum@peterboroughlimited.co.uk for further advice. Please do not bring objects into the Museum without an appointment or unless otherwise requested by a member of collections staff.

For rock, fossil or mineral identification, the Sedgewick Museum of Earth Sciences in Cambridge offers a free identification service, for more information please visit the sedgwickmuseum.org

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