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Department of Portable Antiquities and Treasure

Ringlemere cupThe Department of Portable Antiquities and Treasure co-ordinates the Portable Antiquities Scheme (PAS), a voluntary initiative to record archaeological objects found by members of the public in England and Wales.

Since March 2007 the department has also been responsible for administering the Treasure Act 1996 on behalf of the UK Government.

Long spoons (cochlearia) from the Thetford treasureEvery year thousands of objects are discovered by metal-detector users, fieldwalkers, people out walking, gardening or just going about their daily work. Such discoveries offer an important source for understanding our past. The PAS was established to promote the recording of these finds and to broaden public awareness of the importance of these objects.

The Scheme is administered by a network of Finds Liaison Officers (FLOs) based in museums and archaeology services throughout the country. The FLOs record finds, give advice on finds recording, conservation and the Treasure Act. They also encourage members of the public, metal detector users, archaeologists and museums to work together to preserve and learn from the past through holding finds days and other outreach events.