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BRITARCH  June 1998

BRITARCH June 1998

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Subject:

"Treasure Act improves the protection of the archaeological heritage" (DCMS press release)

From:

Mike Heyworth <[log in to unmask]>

Reply-To:

Mike Heyworth <[log in to unmask]>

Date:

Wed, 24 Jun 1998 10:53:35 +0100

Content-Type:

text/plain

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Parts/Attachments

text/plain (98 lines)


DEPARTMENT FOR CULTURE, MEDIA AND SPORT
DCMS 131/98                                            17 June 1998
                TREASURE ACT IMPROVES THE PROTECTION OF
                        ARCHAEOLOGICAL HERITAGE
 
   The 1996-97 annual report of the Treasure Trove Reviewing 
Committee, published today, highlights how the new Treasure Act is 
improving the protection given to some of the most significant finds 
from the soil of England and Wales.
 
   The report also highlights the important role of metal detecting. 
Once again the majority of the finds reported to the Committee were 
made by people using metal detectors.
 
   Welcoming the report Arts Minister Mark Fisher said:
 
   "All but one of the cases of treasure trove listed in this report 
have been discovered with a metal detector and I would like to 
acknowledge the contribution made by responsible detector users 
towards the understanding of our heritage. Metal detector users play 
a significant role in increasing our knowledge of the past, and we 
are keen to ensure that finders have confidence that the valuation 
procedure ensures that they receive a fair reward. I believe that 
this confidence has been strengthened by the recent appointment of 
Mr Dennis Jordan, President of the National Council for Metal 
Detecting, to the Treasure Valuation Committee, the successor to the 
Treasure Trove Reviewing Committee.
 
   "This report demonstrates that responsible metal detectors have 
nothing to fear from the Act and much to gain."
 
   "I welcome the successful passage of the Treasure Act as I believe
that it, together with the pilot schemes for the voluntary reporting 
of all archaeological finds, provide everyone with an opportunity to 
make a fresh start. Early reports suggest that both the Act and the 
pilot schemes are proving a great success: some 90 finds of potential
treasure have been reported during the first eight months of the 
Act's operations, compared with an average of 25 cases before."
 
   The report shows that during 1996-97 the Treasure Trove Reviewing 
Committee agreed valuations for 25 finds. The objects were all 
acquired by museums, with the money going to finders as reward.
 
   Two of the finds considered by the Committee stand out. First was 
the hoard of 256 gold Celtic coins and Roman jewellery from Alton in 
Hampshire which was valued at #103,074 and acquired by the British 
Museum: coins in this hoard show that the ancient British king 
formerly known as Tincommius was in fact called Tincomarus.
 
   The second was the hoard of Roman gold and silver coins and 
jewellery from Patching in West Sussex which contained coins dating 
as late as 461-5 AD, some fifty years after the Romans abandoned 
Britain. This hoard was buried 50 years later than any previously 
known find from Britain and sheds new light on the history of this 
period. The hoard was valued at #30,000 and was acquired by Worthing 
Museum and Art Gallery.
 
Notes to Editors
 
1. The Treasure Trove Reviewing Committee is an independent body 
which advises Ministers on the valuation of Treasure Trove finds; 
since December 1997 it has been replaced by the Treasure Valuation 
Committee which has the same role in respect of Treasure finds.
 
2. The Treasure Act came into force on 24 September 1997 replacing 
the old common law of Treasure Trove. It gives protection to a wider 
range of finds than before. Finders are required to report finds 
within 14 days (failure to do is an offence) and full rewards are 
given to finders and/or landowners who act responsibly.
 
3. The DCMS and the British Museum are also funding six Finds Liaison
Officers in museums and archaeological services around the country 
under an initiative to promote the voluntary recording of all 
archaeological finds.
 
4.  The Treasure Trove Reviewing Committee's annual report for 
1996-97 (price #2.95) is available from Spink and Sons Ltd, 5-7 King 
Street, London, SW1Y 6QS , and Anglia Publishing, 
The Old Mill, Lower Raydon, Ipswich, IP7 5QR .
 
 
 
# = pounds sterling



=====================================================
 Dr Michael Heyworth Council for British Archaeology
 Bowes Morrell House, 111 Walmgate, York YO1 9WA, UK
 Tel: +44 (0)1904 671417     Fax: +44 (0)1904 671384
           http://www.britarch.ac.uk/cba/
=====================================================



%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%

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