|19 December 2003
Buried treasure on show
Archaeological treasures found in Britain by enthusiasts with metal detectors were shown to the public as the arts minister, Estelle Morris, launched the annual report into unearthed artefacts.
The minister was launching the annual report into "portable antiquities" discovered around the country and recorded under a voluntary scheme (PAS) run by the Council for Museums, Archives and Libraries. A staggering 1,704 finders have volunteered a massive 49,590 objects for recording since 2001. The scheme was started in 1997 and has so far produced more than 150,000 objects. Some are on display in a British Museum exhibition.
Speaking in praise of the scheme, Estelle Morris said, "Itís really a benefit that there are people who want to go out there and look for hidden treasure. What we didnít have in the past was something that would happen once the treasure had been found."
Almost 60 per cent of the finds recorded since 2001 were made by metal detectorists. Finds Liaison Officers maintain regular contact with 61 metal detecting clubs and amateur archaeological groups. The rest of the finds were made by the general public and reported at finds days set up by the PAS or to one of the regional finds liaison officers across the UK. All the finds recorded by the scheme are published on the PAS online database at www.finds.org.uk.
Sources: Article by Corinne Field for 24 Hour Museum (18 December 2003), The Guardian (19 December 2003)
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