What types of finds do we record?
We would like to record any objects you have found that are older than 1650 AD. Even if you are unsure what your finds may be, or whether they are old enough to record, it is worth bringing them to us as they may be identifiable objects that need recording.
Objects of any material can be recorded (e.g. metal, pottery, bone, or stone) and more modern finds can often be identified, but we will only record these if they are of particular archaeological or historical interest.
We would usually like to borrow your finds for a short period of time to record them in detail, including a description, weight and measurements. Many objects are also photographed and drawn by our in house illustrator. Once this has been completed finds are returned to their finders with printed reports and copies of any illustrations.
In addition to recording the objects themselves we would also like to record where and how they were found. The accurate findspot of any object is vital as it allows us to build up a detailed picture of Suffolk’s archaeological past by identifying areas of archaeological activity in a field, village, or the County as a whole. This is also important in case the findspot falls within an area that is subject to future development that would damage or destroy the archaeology beneath. Ideally, we suggest that finders where possible provide an exact findspot for their finds, preferably using a GPS device, although we can access a range of paper and digital mapping to provide accurate locations for individual objects.
What happens to the information recorded by us?
Finds are recorded onto the Portable Antiquities Scheme database (finds.org.uk/database). In the version of the database visible to the public the exact location (findspot) of your finds, and any personal data, is restricted.
Information relating to individual finds is added to the Suffolk HER and also used in national and regional publications, including the Portable Antiquities Scheme annual reports and PSIAH annual round-up.