Why does an archaeologist need to know about modern industrial and mechanical processes? Because often metal detectorists find modern valves or cogs and are convinced they are of historical importance. Part of a modern bone-shaped dog biscuit can even be mistaken for iron -age pottery! Amy Downes gave this fascinating insight into her job as a Finds Liaison Officer (FLO) for the Portable Antiquities Scheme when she detailed the types of archaeological finds members of the public bring in to her to identify during her talk to the Friends of The Museum of Somerset.
By recording the coins (there are over 100,000 Roman coins), pottery, brooches and buckles found by members of the public over the last twenty years the Portable Antiquities Scheme now has a huge online database that is available for all to use and much research is now taking place using the records from the database. To see the database go to https://finds.org.uk
Should you be lucky enough to uncover a hoard, or indeed anything of archaeological interest that is over 300 years old, the Somerset FLO works from the Heritage Centre and would be pleased to make your acquaintance!