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This blog is a behind the scenes look at the Roman Baths in Bath. We hope you enjoy reading our stories about life surrounding the Roman Baths.

Wednesday, 15 November 2017

Treasuring Our Collection

2017 marks the 20th anniversary of the Treasure Act, which states that you must legally report any finds classed as Treasure by the Act to the coroner.

To celebrate this anniversary, we have a new display in the Sun Lounge that shows objects in our collection that have been acquired through the Treasure Act. Also on display are objects that should be classified as Treasure but predate the Act, as well as a couple of red herrings. If you’re popping in to visit us this winter, use the pointers below to help you figure out which of these objects is genuine Treasure!

Treasure in the Sun Lounge

Treasure is defined in different ways by the Act, but to summarise, it includes:
  • Any metal object containing at least 10% either gold or silver and at least 300 years old when found.
  • Prehistoric metal, provided any part of it is precious metal
  • Prehistoric metal of any composition, if it is found in a group of two or more objects as part of the same find
  • Two or more coins from the same find provided they are at least 300 years old when found and contain 10% either gold or silver

Any object that classes as Treasure must be reported to the coroner within 14 days of its discovery. After this it will be identified by the local Finds Liaison Officer, and may eventually be purchased by a museum.

This Act protects our cultural heritage and allows nationally important items to be recorded and preserved for everybody to appreciate and enjoy. Through this Act, we’re been able to acquire the incredible Beau Street Hoard, the Timsbury Hoard, and a lovely gold posy ring from Keynsham with the phrase “a frends [sic] gift” inscribed inside the band.

Posy ring from Keynsham with close up showing the inscription

If you’re out and about and you do dig up something interesting, make sure you get in touch with the Portable Antiquities Scheme. Whether it’s treasure or not, your discoveries will be photographed, identified, and recorded to help us understand more about our history and archaeology!

Collections Assistant

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