A Licence to Loot or Archaeological Rescue? The Treasure Act and Portable Antiquities Scheme in England and Wales


April 13, 2012  7:15 pm to 9:15 pm

by Dr. Roger Bland (Head of Department of Portable Antiquities & Treasure at the British Museum). Friday, April 13, 2012. Mesa College, G101.

Dr. Roger Bland (Head of Department of Portable Antiquities & Treasure at the British Museum) will present “A Licence to Loot or Archaeological Rescue? The Treasure Act and Portable Antiquities Scheme in England and Wales” on Friday, April 13, 2012. Every country struggles to find ways of controlling the activities of amateurs who search for archaeological objects. England and Wales have developed a unique system of protection in the Treasure Act of 1996 and the Portable Antiquities Scheme. The Act gives legal protection to a small group of finds that qualify as Treasure – precious-metal objects and hoards – and ensures that these are offered to museums, while ensuring finders and landowners receive the full market value. The number of finds qualifying as Treasure has increased from about 25 a year before 1997 to 854 in 2010. The Portable Antiquities Scheme consists of a network of 50 archaeologists who encourage searchers – mainly metal detector users – voluntarily to report their finds, recording the information on an online database (www.finds.org.uk) which now includes details of nearly 700,000 finds. Despite these spectacular results, which include finds such as the 2,500 gold and silver Anglo-Saxon objects from the Staffordshire hoard and the hoard of 52,500 Roman coins from the Frome hoard, problems with the illegal recovery of objects and their sale abroad remain. The sale of the Roman helmet from Cumbria for £2 GBP at Christie’s in October 2010 has led people to question the effectiveness of the Treasure Act. This lecture looks at the problems surrounding these issues and the concerns of archaeologists.

  1. #1 by Gina at February 2nd, 2016

    Thanks for helping me to see things in a direffent light.

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