Message #267:
From: AzTeC SW Archaeology SIG
To:   "'Matthias Giessler'" 
Subject: Pilot Program - Voluntary Recording Of Archaeology
Date: Sat, 19 Jul 1997 20:03:59 -0700

[ Here is an intersting idea worth contemplating -- SASIG Ed. ]


     The Government has awarded grants to fund pilot schemes in five areas
of England for the voluntary recording of archaeological finds, National
Heritage Secretary Chris Smith announced today.
     The pilots will run for two years from 1 September 1997, managed by:
Kent County Council; Norfolk Museums Service; National Museums and
Galleries on Merseyside; the Yorkshire Museum and the York Archaeological
Trust; and North Lincolnshire District Museum.  The organisations were
selected by DNH in consultation with the Museums and Galleries Commission
(MGC) from a field of over 50 applicants.
     The grants will support the bulk of the cost of four full-time 
posts and one part-time post (in the case of North Lincolnshire) to 
carry out the work of recording finds.  The pilot programme will be 
co-ordinated by DNH, with funding channelled through the MGC.  A 
total of #55,000 is being made available in the current financial 
Mr Smith said:
     "This pilot programme represents an important first step in 
ensuring that the evidence of Britain's rich archaeological heritage is
adequately recorded for the benefit of this and future 
generations.  The responses to DNH's discussion document on portable
antiquities indicated widespread agreement on the need for 
improvement to the current arrangements, under which only a small 
percentage of the estimated 400,000 archaeological objects found 
every year in England and Wales are seen by museums.
     "Archaeologists and metal detectorists alike came out strongly 
in favour of a voluntary, rather than a compulsory, recording scheme and
their advice has proved invaluable in developing the pilot programme.  With
their key support, the pilot schemes have every chance of proving  highly
successful.  Their performance over the two-year period should provide us
with a much clearer idea of the resources that would be needed to extend
the scheme across the whole of England and Wales."
Notes to Editors
1.   Portable Antiquities: A Discussion Document was published by the
Department of National Heritage in February 1996.  It was designed to
complement the Treasure Bill by making proposals for the recording of
archaeological finds not covered by the Bill (now the Treasure Act). The
document sought views on possible measures to improve the recording of all
archaeological objects and set out the arguments for and implications of a
voluntary or a compulsory reporting system. DNH received 173 responses to
the document.
2.   Details of the grants awarded are as follows:
Kent County Council: #14,500
Norfolk Museums Service: #13,000*
National Museums and Galleries on Merseyside: #11,500
The Yorkshire Museum and the York Archaeological Trust: #11,000
North Lincolnshire District Museum: #5,000
     *The Norfolk Museums Service grant includes #5,000 to enable 
them to carry out a study of how the local agreement between the 
Museums Service and the metal detectorists to record finds has been 
working over the last 20 years.  The Norfolk system has provided the model
for the pilot programme, and this study will therefore provide DNH with
valuable help in evaluating the pilot schemes.
# = pounds sterling