If you discover an in situ find (such as a hoard or burial)
Firstly congratulations, it’s not a common occurrence and is often a once in a lifetime event. You’ll probably be shocked and excited and a whole range of emotions. Difficult though it is you need to stop digging, take a breath and just take it all in before you do anything else.
- Don’t dig any more. Stop for a few minutes and work out if you have found an in situ hoard (a concentrated deposit of finds) or if it is dispersed (for example a coin hoard scattered by ploughing). Coin scatters can be collected, noting the find spot of each one. If it’s a hoard please see below on what to do next. If in doubt you should seek advice from your Finds Liaison Officer (FLO) before excavating further. If you can’t get hold of FLO please contact the NCMD on the emergency number below who can help.
- If it’s a hoard cover the deposit up and make a note of the find spot. Apps such as ‘What 3 words’ or a GPS tracker can be really helpful to do this. It’s an idea to also take photos of landmarks, etc. that can help you locate it again if all else fails! If you carry on you may destroy important archeological information, and any treasure reward you are eligible for may be reduced.
- Do not be tempted to phone all your friends and family to share the news. Or, even worse, post up information about your find on social media. You need to protect the details of your site as it will take time to get expert help. People talk and the last thing you want is to worry about is the security of the land.