Role and Aims of PAS Cymru

Role and Aims of PAS Cymru

The Portable Antiquities Scheme (PAS) was introduced in Wales in March 1999. The core function of PAS Cymru is to create high quality records of archaeological finds made by members of the public and to make this information publicly accessible. The key aspirations of PAS Cymru include to:

  • develop opportunities for public participation in archaeology by recording finds;
  • increase formal and informal learning opportunities to raise awareness of material culture and its significance in understanding our past;
  • promote awareness of the scheme to as wide an audience as possible;
  • develop the research potential of PAS data; and
  • support a sustainable network of local reporting centres.

General information about the PAS in Wales and England can be found at https://finds.org.uk/.

The role of the Finds Co-ordinator

The Finds Co-ordinator for Wales is based at Amgueddfa Cymru – National Museum of Wales in Cardiff, and works closely with the four Welsh Archaeological Trusts (Gwynedd, Clwyd-Powys, Dyfed and Glamorgan-Gwent), which maintain the Heritage Environment Records and promote the scheme within their respective regions of Wales.

The Finds Co-ordinator’s main responsibilities are:

  • To ensure that information from archaeological finds is recorded, researched and made accessible for use by the public, archaeologists and other researchers.
  • Provide learning engagement to demonstrate the importance of archaeological material culture through effective outreach to finders.
  • To ensure that the results of research are widely disseminated through publication, display and lecturing.
  • To offer support and assistance to the network of reporting centres throughout Wales
  • To promote the PAS through the production of reports and attendance at relevant events.
  • To support AC-NMW's smooth running of the administration of the Treasure Act by liaising with finders, curators and coroners.
  • To undertake research on significant discoveries to obtain essential contextual information and where appropriate, to involve interested communities
  • To support volunteer assistance with photography, image processing and database entry and ensuring volunteers find the experience rewarding.

As part of this remit the Finds Co-ordinator provides learning engagement to demonstrate the importance of archaeological material culture and promote the PAS Scheme in Wales through effective outreach to the metal detecting community and supporting partner organisations in their engagement with members of the public, school children, university students and museum professionals . This involves an ongoing programme of events across Wales aimed at ensuring participation in the Portable Antiquities Scheme. These include:

  • events with metal detecting clubs
  • finds and awareness events
  • talks, lectures and publications to demonstrate the effectiveness and ethics of the scheme and to highlight key finds; and
  • seminars / workshops aimed at museum professionals (non-archaeologist) to raise awareness of PAS and appropriate recording.

Funding and Monitoring

As of 2015 PAS Cymru has been funded by the Welsh Government through equal contributions from AC-NMW, Cadw and the Museums, Archives and Libraries Division of the Welsh Government (MALD). The funding and monitoring of the scheme is overseen by the PAS Cymru steering group comprising the three main funding organisations. The Head of Archaeology at AC-NMW also sits on the PAS Advisory Committee at the British Museum.