The Portable Antiquities Scheme (PAS) is a voluntary programme run by the United Kingdom government to record the increasing numbers of small finds of archaeological interest found by members of the public. The scheme was begun in 1997 and now covers most of England and Wales.
It is primarily focused on private metal detectorists who through their hobby regularly discover artifacts that would otherwise go unrecorded. Members of the public can also report objects they have found and finds of non-metallic objects are also covered by the scheme.
News — 1 November 2011
There have been recent concerns expressed as to the future operation of the Portable Antiquities Scheme in Wales. Discussions between the Welsh Government, Amgueddfa Cymru — National Museum Wales, the British Museum, and the Department for Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) have now successfully addressed this issue in such a way that will ensure the continuation of the scheme, including the important post of Finds Liaison Officer, in Wales.