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20 years of the Treasure Act

18 September 2017 by Vanessa

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24th September 2017 marks the 20th anniversary of the commencement of the Treasure Act 1996 in England, Wales and Northern Ireland.

This September marks 20 years of the 1996 Treasure Act coming into force. This important Act allows museums across the country to acquire Treasure items for their collection, curating them and protecting them for the nation.

What is Treasure?
Items which are 10% or more precious metal and over 300 years old are officially ‘Treasure’. For coins, two or more precious metal coins found together qualify as Treasure or 10 or more base metal coins. Treasure also includes two or more prehistoric objects found together such as two Bronze Age axes.

If Treasure is found, the finder legally has 14 days to inform the local coroner, this can be done through your local Finds Liaison Officer (FLO). A report will be written by the FLO or a British Museum curator and sent to the coroner who will hold an inquest on the case. If declared Treasure the Crown and the local museums will have an opportunity to acquire the object for their collections. You can read more about Treasure here.

Treasure in the North West

Brooch

An almost complete copper alloy brooch of Early Medieval date, late 8th-9th century

In the North West we have over 11,000 Treasure cases recorded on the Portable Antiquities Scheme’s database. These include the silver Viking Huxley Hoard and the fantastic Roman Cheshire Hoards.

Treasure20 Display
Currently on the 1st floor of the Museum of Liverpool we have a display of both Treasure and non-Treasure finds which have been discovered by members of the public and recorded with the Portable Antiquities Scheme. One of the objects on display is this fantastic brooch found in Flintshire by a metal detectorist with decoration similar to that which appears on the Book of Kells.

We also have smaller items such as a post-medieval silver thimble discovered in Chester and inscribed around the rim with the illusive words: ‘C fineer is thine for cut his’.

Treasure20 Events
To celebrate the new display join us  at Museum of Liverpool on Friday 22nd of September  for talks and finds handling:

13.00 Treasure20 talk by Finds Liaison Officer Vanessa Oakden
14.00 The Huxley Hoard talk by Curator of Archaeology Liz Stewart
15.00 Archaeology Finds Handling Session

 

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