The British Museum has announced that this year, with the help from the full lockdown in the United Kingdom, regular citizens have found more than 47,000 objects in their backyards.
“It is brilliant to see the museums’ Portable Antiquities Scheme growing from strength to strength during lockdown thanks to garden discoveries and digital reporting,” says UK Culture Minister Caroline Dinenage. The scheme’s mission is to to “ensure finds, important for understanding Britain’s past, are not lost but instead recorded for posterity.”
According to the UK’s Treasure Act of 1996, once an object more than 300 years old is found, its founder is required to report it to the local coroner. It can eventually be bought by national or local museums to the benefit of the overall public. So far this year, amateur archaeologists have dug up a 13th-century medieval seal, 50 South African solid gold coins, 63 gold coins, and one silver coin buried in the 16th century bearing the initials of many of Henry VIII’s wives, and a furniture fitting that dates back to the 1st century.