The Portable Antiquities Scheme
The Portable Antiquities Scheme is a voluntary recording scheme for archaeological objects found by members of the public. Every year thousands of objects are discovered, many by metal detector users, but also by people whilst out walking, gardening or going about their daily work. Such discoveries offer an important source for understanding our past.
Examples of objects found by members of the public, including members of West Kirby Metal Detecting Club, and recorded with the North West branch of the Portable Antiquities Scheme are shown above. Roman finds are fairly common whereas finds from the Iron Age period are unusual.
The Treasure Act
All finders of gold and silver objects, and groups of coins from the same finds over 300 years old, have a legal obligation to report such items under the Treasure Act 1996. Now prehistoric base-metal assemblages found after 1 January 2003 also qualify as treasure. Your local Finds Liaison Officer is happy to help you deal with the paperwork and explain the treasure process to you.
You can learn more about the Treasure Act on the Portable Antiquities Scheme website.
Finds liaison officer
The scheme's regional finds liaison officer, covering Cheshire, Greater Manchester and Merseyside, is based at National Museums Liverpool.
Vanessa Oakden, the finds liaison officer, is currently on maternity leave, so please contact Liz Stewart or Sam Rowe using the contact details below to report your finds or to find out more about the scheme.
Portable Antiquities Scheme
Cheshire, Greater Manchester and Merseyside Finds Liaison Officer
Dock Traffic Office
Liverpool L3 4AX
Have a look at our events page for details of when and where you could meet the finds liaison officers if you have an interesting find.
Find out more at the Portable Antiquities Scheme website.
Look at finds from your area or all over the country by going to the Portable Antiquities database.