10 Jul 2023
by Michael Lewis

The PAS records archaeological finds discovered by the public, to advance knowledge, tell the stories of past communities and further public interest in the past. It is a partnership, managed by the British Museum (in England) and hosted through Amgueddfa Cymru - Museum Wales (in Wales), working with over 100 national and local organisations, and delivered through its network of 40 locally based Finds Liaison Officers (FLOs) and supported by key staff at the both national museum, as well as the Welsh Archaeological Trusts (in Wales), National Finds Advisers (in England), interns and community volunteers.

All the FLOs in England are employed by, and based within, local museums and other heritage organisation, providing them with ideal opportunities to liaise with finders and the wider public. The Scheme has been running since 1997, recording over 1.6 million items on its database – finds.org.uk/database. These discoveries are helping to transform archaeological knowledge, with the data being used by a wide range of people including archaeologists, museum curators and other researchers, besides members of the public.

The PAS has five main objectives:
• Transform archaeological knowledge through the recording and research of public finds, to enable the stories of past peoples and their landscapes to be told;
• Sharing new knowledge about archaeological finds made within communities, so that people might learn more about their past, their archaeology and their history;
• Promote best archaeological practice amongst finder communities, so that the past is preserved and protected for the future;
• Support museum acquisition of finds made by the public, so that these can be saved for future generations and enjoyed by local people;
• Provide long-term sustainability for the recording of new finds, so that these discoveries can contribute to the reinterpretation of our histories.

For more information about the PAS in England see http://finds.org.uk and in Wales https://museum.wales/portable-antiquities-scheme-in-wales/

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