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Have your archaeological artefact identified

Found something old in Gloucestershire and need it identifying?

What will I need to tell you?

To record the find we need to know where it has come from. This could be a spot on a map or a grid reference.

Send us a photo of your artefact or make an enquiry using our

online identification form

Note: We only offer this service for finds from Gloucestershire.

What happens when you've identified my find?

All artefacts we record are placed on a national database managed by the Portable Antiquities Scheme. An edited version is available for viewing by the general public at Additionally the records are made available to the county Historic Environment Record (HER).

What objects qualify as Treasure?

Some objects are classed as treasure and are protected by law, as a result you have a legal obligation to report it within 14 days of finding it or as soon as you realise that it is Treasure. Read more about the Treasure Act.

The following finds are classified as Treasure under the Act, if they were found after 24 September 1997 (or, in the case of category 2, if they were found after 1 January 2003):

  1. Any metallic object, other than a coin, provided that at least 10 per cent by weight of metal is precious metal (that is, gold or silver) and that it is at least 300 years old when found. If the object is of prehistoric date it will be Treasure provided any part of it is precious metal.
  2. Any group of two or more metallic objects of any composition of prehistoric date that come from the same find.
  3. All coins from the same find provided they are at least 300 years old when found (but if the coins contain less than 10 per cent of gold or silver there must be at least ten of them). Only the following groups of coins will normally be regarded as coming from the same find:
  • hoards that have been deliberately hidden
  • smaller groups of coins, such as the contents of purses, that may have been dropped or lost
  • votive or ritual deposits.
  1. Any object, whatever it is made of, that is part of the same find as another object that is Treasure. An object or coin is part of the 'same find' as another object or coin if it is found in the same place as, or had previously been together with, the other object. Finds may have become scattered since they were originally deposited in the ground.
  2. 5. Any object that would previously have been Treasure Trove, but does not fall within the specific categories given above. Only objects that are less than 300 years old, that are made substantially of gold or silver, that have been deliberately hidden with the intention of recovery and whose owners or heirs are unknown will come into this category.

What other help can I get?

  • Free expert advice on all artefacts
  • Advice on conservation, packing and storage methods
  • A printed report on the recorded artefact
  • Discussion of the significance of the data
  • Advice on the Treasure Act

To find out more contact:

What else do I need to know?

You must obtain the landowners permission before field walking or metal detecting. Without this permission you will be breaking the law and could be arrested for trespassing, and/or charged with the theft of artefacts from the land. Even if it is common land it will belong to someone and permission will need to be obtained.

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