This scheme aims to record archaeological objects found by members of the public onto a national open access database.

Portable Antiquities Scheme

PAS North & East Yorkshire COVID-19 Update July 2020

York Museums Trust are excited about the prospect of welcoming back visitors to the museums and gallery soon. While this won’t be on July 4th we plan to open York Art Gallery first, with the team working hard behind the scenes to ensure a safe and enjoyable reopening for everyone. Our other sites, York Castle Museum and the Yorkshire Museum, will open afterwards. Exact timescales for re-opening our sites are still in progress due to the rapidly changing nature of the current circumstances. As such, all Portable Antiquities Scheme events – Finds Days, Club Visits and meetings – remain cancelled until further notice.

Finds Recording

I remain unable to take in new finds for recording or return those already deposited. Please keep hold of any finds you would like to have recorded, individually bagged and labelled with the minimum 6-figure grid reference and date of discovery, for full recording at a later date in accordance with the Code of Practice for Responsible Metal-Detecting in England and Wales.


In accordance with the Treasure Act 1996 all finds of potential Treasure must be reported within 14 days. While we are unable to meet with finder to take in finds we are working to deal with finds of potential Treasure remotely so that we can keep the process moving as much as possible. In order to help with this, if you have an object which you believe may constitute potential Treasure, please send me the following details and await further instruction.

· Your full name and address

· The full name, postal address and e-mail address of the landowner and occupier (in cases of tenanted land)

· A minimum 6-figure National Grid Reference (NGR) for where the find was made

· The depth at which the object was discovered

· The type of land on which it was found (i.e. cultivated or pasture)

· Date of discovery

· Weights and measurements · Digital photographs (basic guide to finds photography available here and here).

Your e-mail will satisfy the 14 day notification period required under the Treasure Act.

The necessary precautions and the fact that many museum staff are on furlough leave means there will be delays in the Treasure process. We thank everyone involved in the process for their understanding, patience and cooperation during this time.

DCMS Guidance

On Tuesday 26th May 2020 the government published updated guidance for members of the public on searching for archaeological finds in England during COVID-19. Some key messages are:

· Maintain social distance while searching for archaeological finds.

· Fulfil your legal obligations under the Treasure Act 1996.

· Ensure your discoveries can be recorded and contribute to archaeological knowledge. This could take many weeks or months.

· Ensure you have the relevant permissions; even if you previously had landowner permission you should now check again that they are happy for you to continue to search on their land.

· Avoid metal-detecting on ground that has not been recently disturbed to avoid damaging in situ archaeology

· Group or club searches and rallies are prohibited. You can read the full guidance here:

Next Steps

Given the severity of the COVID-19 pandemic it is likely that we will have to change the way in which we work going forward. We continue to work with the government, DCMS and local partners about the best ways to deliver the PAS in the coming months as restrictions ease. We want to ensure that we continue to work with partners and finders to deliver the best service that we can.

Updates will be posted here as they become available.