PASt Explorers is the volunteer programme of the Portable Antiquities Scheme. Their annual conference happened to be in Peterborough this year – so members from FRAG went along.

It was a really good day. As well as a free lunch at the Key Theatre there were interesting talks by both experienced professionals and amateur newcomers. There were introductory workshops on conservation of artefacts and on searching the PAS online database. There was even a wool spinning demonstration by Leicester University archaeology department.

The PASt scheme is co-ordinated by the British Museum and one of those involved is Helen Geake of Time Team fame. She took time out to hear about FRAG and the Itter Crescent Roman villa.

FRAG and Helen Geake

FRAG Chairman, Nick Coneybear with Helen Geake

The PAS database has been building steadily for 20 years and now records 1.4m objects. Over 80% were discovered through metal detecting but others are from field-walking, archaeological investigation, building work etc. The records are freely available and provide a valuable resource for research – and for helping to identify specific objects you may yourself find. The link below will take you to the “Finds” website.

If you have finds for the PAS or if you are interested in volunteering with the scheme then our local Field Liason Officer is Helen Fowler.