Lost Change: mapping coins from the Portable Antiquities Scheme

Today sees the launch of Lost Change, an innovative and experimental application that allows coins found within England and Wales and recorded through the British Museum’s Portable Antiquities Scheme (PAS), to be visualised on an interactive, dual-mapping interface. This tool enables people to interrogate a huge dataset (over 300,000 coin records can be manipulated) and discover links between coins’ place of origin (the issuing mint or a more vague attribution if this location is uncertain) and where they were discovered and then subsequently reported to the PAS Finds Liaison Officers.

Fantastic new resource!

Lost Change: mapping coins from the Portable Antiquities Scheme

How Norfolk is helping to lead the way in discovering and preserving our heritage

The figures are astonishing. A third of all portable antiquities discovered in the whole country in any one year are found in just one county: Norfolk. “And 10% of those are treasure cases. It’s a staggering figure,” says Dr Tim Pestell, Curator of Archaeology of Norwich Castle Museum.

“Annually we record more than 20,000 finds in Norfolk. In 2012 there were 123 treasure cases in the county – a new British record – and last year 106.”

It’s a glowing testament not only to our amazing heritage but also to the warm working relationship which has existed for many years between the experts at Norfolk’s Historic Environment Service, Norfolk Museums Service and local metal detector users.

How Norfolk is helping to lead the way in discovering and preserving our heritage

Lincolnshire metal detector man praised for 500 finds

A metal detector enthusiast who has made more than 500 significant archaeological finds has been praised by the British Museum.

Tom Redmayne, from North Somercotes, Lincolnshire, has helped build a picture of the county with his finds.

British Museum data shows that Lincolnshire was one of the top three areas of the country for Portable Antiquities Scheme finds in 2012.

In its annual PAS report, the British Museum said: “His [Tom Redmayne’s] finds have been of a consistently high standard, and the information now produced is of great benefit to understanding the archaeological landscape of the Lincolnshire marsh region.

Lincolnshire metal detector man praised for 500 finds

Metal detectorists found nearly 1,000 treasure items in 2012

Amateur archaeologists with metal detectors found 990 items classified as treasure during 2012, according to figures from the British Museum.

All of the rare coins, rings and brooches contain gold or silver, and many date back more than 1,200 years.

The public reported more than 74,000 other historical items to the Portable Antiquities Scheme, which experts say has “revolutionised archaeology”.

More than 900,000 objects have been reported since it started in 1997.

The verification process takes several months, which is why the items submitted in 2012 are only being detailed now.

Neil MacGregor, Director of the British Museum said the scheme, which launched its annual report today, was “ensuring that finds found by ordinary members of the public are rewriting history.”

Metal detectorists found nearly 1,000 treasure items in 2012

FLO night

I attended the meeting of RHDS this week to get back the finds I handed over in early October and to show the FLO the handful of items found since then that I thought might interest her.

Most of those earlier finds, ie the spectacle buckle, the piece of pottery and the various pistol shot, had been recorded on the PAS database though one or two had upon further consideration been deemed to be insignificant and therefore not recordable.

She also gave me back my farmer’s Roman grot which was grotty enough for her to be able to say only that it was probably 2nd century. I had hoped there might be more definite information for him about it but at least he now knows a little more about it than he did. When I next see him I’ll return the coin and give him copies of the PAS print outs of the recorded items found on his land.

None of the few items I showed the FLO this week was deemed to be recordable.