Portable Antiquities: Metal Detecting
Codes of practice and practical advice, current legislation and links to detectorists’ websites.
Codes of Practice and Advice
- Guidance on Metal-detecting Rallies in England and Wales. Guidance note for organisers of metal-detecting rallies and large scale detecting events and those attending such events, to complement the Code of Practice for Responsible Metal Detecting in England and Wales.
- Our Portable Past. Statement of English Heritage policy and good practice for Portable Antiquities/surface collected material in the context of field archaeology and survey programmes (including the use of metal-detectors). Note that this publication contains an excellent summary of current legislation in Annex 1. (PDF 1.12MB)
- Code of Practice for Responsible Metal Detecting in England and Wales. Voluntary code of practice endorsed by the main archaeological and detecting organisations in England and Wales, including the Portable Antiquities Scheme.
- CBA Fact Sheet no 2: Advice for Users of Metal Detectors in England and Wales
- Advice for Finders of Archaeological Objects including treasure. A Portable Antiquities Scheme Publication. (PDF c1MB)
- Conservation Advice. A Portable Antiquities Scheme Publication. (PDF c600KB)
Guide to Current Legislation
- Treasure Act 1996 Code of Practice (2nd Revision) England and Wales or HTML version
- 1996 Treasure Act Leaflet
- The Treasure (Designation) Order 2002
- UK’s Receiver of Wreck (part of the Maritime and Coastguard Agency) - all wreck material which comes from UK territorial waters, and any wreck which is landed in the UK from outside UK territorial waters must by law (Section 236 of the Merchant Shipping Act 1995) be declared to the Receiver of Wreck. The Receiver of Wreck works closely with archaeological, museums and diving organisations in relation to material from historic wrecks.
- Treasure Trove in Scotland. The official website for Treasure Trove in Scotland. Explains the different legislation applying in Scotland and provides information on all aspects of how finds of archaeological and historical significance in Scotland are recorded and protected.
- Northern Ireland Environment and Heritage Service information on the law relating to “Archaeological Objects” and “Information for Finders of Treasure in Northern Ireland”
- Dealing in Cultural Objects (Offences) Act 2003
Links to the Portable Antiquities Scheme and Detectorists’ Websites
- The Portable Antiquities Scheme. PAS is a voluntary scheme to record archaeological objects found by members of the public in England and Wales. This website provides background information on the Portable Antiquities Scheme, news articles, events listings and access to our database of objects and images.
- PASt Explorers. The Portable Antiquities Scheme’s education website aimed at children between the ages of 7 and 11.
- Heritage Action including their Artefact Erosion Counter and advice to landowners
- National Council for Metal Detecting
- Federation of Independent Detectorists
- UK Detector Network
- UK Detector Finds Database
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