A helping hand for Cheshire archaeology

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Roman patera handle Roman patera handle The Museum of Liverpool hosts the regional Finds Liaison Officer for the Portable Antiquities Scheme (PAS). This is a Department for Culture, Media and Sport-funded project to encourage the voluntary recording of archaeological objects found by members of the public in England and Wales. Currently we have over a million objects recorded on the database, 13,529 of which have been recorded by Finds Liaison Officers at Museum of Liverpool. We do this by visiting the local metal detecting clubs to record finds as well as holding finds surgeries such as the Opinion Service at the Museum of Liverpool on the 3rd Wednesday of the month As well as collecting this valuable information it is important to utilise the data in order to learn more about our past. Currently there are 451 projects using PAS data from major publications and PhDs to personal research or A-level archaeology projects. Now we have an exciting opportunity to find out more about our local archaeology in Cheshire using PAS data thanks to a bursary from the Chester Archaeological society. Cheshire has a number of recently found hoards such as the Knutsford and Malpas hoards, as well as the impressive Early Medieval Huxley Hoard. Single finds when studied can also tell us about where people lived and work, what they traded and where battles took place. Objects such as spindle whorls are much more elusive having been used from the Roman through to the Post-Medieval period. Could local studies reveal more about which objects were popular in Cheshire and how they relate to Cheshire’s past? Some exciting finds reported to Vanessa Oakden as Finds Liaison Officer include this almost complete brooch recorded at the Museum of Liverpool Opinion Service,  and this brilliant Roman patera handle soon to go on display in the PAS case in the Museum of Liverpool. Could these objects be the start of a new chapter for local research? The Chester Archaeological Society wishes to encourage the study and publication of objects (or groups/types of object) reported to the Portable Antiquities Scheme from Cheshire and adjacent areas, to ensure that their potential contribution to the understanding of the archaeology and history of the county is realised. It is therefore offering a grant of £700 every two years to help suitable persons to undertake such research. It is a condition of the grant that the results of the research shall be offered for first publication as an article in the Journal of the Chester Archaeological Society. For more information and an application form visit Chester Archaeological Society's infopage.