Yes, the Treasure Act does say that archaeologists who find treasure during
an excavation do not get any reward. It also says that to avoid any
uncertainty anybody involved in the work should sign a waiver. In any
disputes the Treasure Valuation Committee will decide who was working on
site or not.

Curiously it also says that there is a presumption that any treasure found
during archaeological work will be kept with the rest of the archive. This
assumes that the receiving depository has the money to purchase the
treasure, so does anyone know how common this is?


Quinton Carroll
Cambs SMR

-----Original Message-----
From: Jude Plouviez [mailto:[log in to unmask]]
Sent: 05 September 2003 17:15
To: [log in to unmask]
Subject: Re: Metal detector + excavation. Request for info.

My understanding of the Treasure Act (from memory, too late in the day to
look it up!)is that Treasure found is the course of an archaeological
excavation is not liable for a reward - therefore it is Treasure and so
owned by the Crown (not the landowner) and no-one gets a reward. The problem
is  whether the detectorists helping on the project were told this and
whether that matters. Have you consulted Lisa Voden-Decker at the BM?

Jude Plouviez
Archaeological Officer
Suffolk County Council
Shire Hall
Bury St Edmunds IP33 2AR
01284 352448

-----Original Message-----
From: Neil Rushton [mailto:[log in to unmask]]
Sent: Friday, September 05, 2003 5:05 PM
To: [log in to unmask]
Subject: Metal detector + excavation. Request for info.

Dear all

I'd appreciate it if any of you could help out with an awkward situation.

1. A metal detector group find a collection of treasure on land they have
the landowners permission to be on. They go through the correct procedures
re. the Treasure Act and inform the local authority SMR.

2. The MDs are the finders of the treasure and, by agreement, split the
treasure proceeds with the landowner after the coroner's hearing and
valuation. The finds go to the appropriate purchasing museum.

3. A third party archaeological unit is invited onto the site with the
agreement of landowner and MDs and carries out an excavation with the help
of the MDs during which a further treasure collection is found.

Q. Although the landowner still retains his ownership rights, who is the
finder of the second collection? Considering that the second collection
would not have been found if it weren't for the MDing of the site could they
claim that they remain the finders of the treasure?

You may have already guessed that there was no signed agreement before the
excavation took place as to what should happen in the event of a treasure
find. You may also have guessed that this is not a hypothetical situation.

Any help would be much appreciated.

Neil Rushton

Dr Neil Rushton
Archaeology Services
North Hertfordshire District Council
Museums Resource Centre
Burymead Road
tel: (01462) 434896
fax: (01462) 434883

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