Portable Antiquities Scheme

The Portable Antiquities Scheme (PAS) records man-made finds over 300 years old that have been discovered by members of the public, and its network of Finds Liaison Officers would love to hear from you if you think you have found something!

Every year thousands of archaeological finds are discovered in England and Wales by people using metal detectors, out walking or sometimes just digging in their garden. By recording these finds we are contributing a huge amount of knowledge about our past and since the PAS started in 1998, over 600 research projects have been carried out using this data, from school projects to PhDs.

To record your finds on the PAS database, the Finds Liaison Officer will need to borrow them for a few months and will need a grid reference (or ‘X’ on a map) of where they were found.

Contact the Hampshire Finds Liaison Officer, Katie Hinds via email: katie.hinds@hampshireculturaltrust.org.uk or tel. 01962 678180.

Treasure

Items of potential treasure as defined by the Treasure Act 1996 must be reported to the coroner within 14 days of realising the object is treasure. Your Finds Liaison Officer can advise and facilitate the reporting of treasure.

Treasure is defined as:

  • Objects over 300 years of age and comprised of more than 10% precious metal (gold or silver)
  • Coin hoards
  • Modified precious metal coins
  • Prehistoric metal hoards

Essential do's and dont's

You must get the permission of the landowner, as well as informing them of any finds. In some areas you may be breaking the law by searching. If you find something, decide whether it can safely be moved. Ensure that associated evidence is preserved and the object is not damaged in the process.

If you are unsure, cover it and mark the place, then contact your local Finds Liaison Officer. Never clean a find without taking expert advice. You will need safe storage, recording, labelling and transport of anything you find.

You should also familiarise yourself with the Treasure Act which can be downloaded below. If you are metal detecting, please detect responsibly and in line with the metal detector's code of practice.