A day in the life of a Liverpool FLO

As a Finds Liaison officer for the British Museum’s Portable Antiquities Scheme I am always kept on my toes as every day is different. Today began with the not so exciting task of answering emails. I then headed over to the Museum of Liverpool stores to get the Knutsford Hoard as I needed to take some more images of the objects. The Knutsford and Malpas hoards are due to go on display in the New Year as part of the Cheshire Hoards project funded by the HLF. We have an exciting array of events lined up but first the hoards will need to be cleaned and cataloged. It was brilliant to be able to excavate the Knutsford Hoard in 2012 thanks to the finder and landowner and is great to have them back in the museum again following their time at the British Museum. You can read our blog about the hoard here http://blog.liverpoolmuseums.org.uk/2015/07/treasure-acquired-for-the-region/.

Finder and FLO uncovering the Knutsford Hoard

Finder and FLO uncovering the Knutsford Hoard

Photographing the Knutsford Hoard

Photographing the Knutsford Hoard

Knutsford Hoard

Once the hoard is deposited safely back in the store following a bit of photography I headed back to the office to meet with a local finder who came to collect some of the finds he lent me to record. Among the new finds he has brought this Post Medieval book clasp along with the usual musket balls and mounts.bookclasp

After enjoying reading #DayofArchaeology over a quick lunch and tweeting about my #Fridayfind https://twitter.com/VOakden_FLO/status/624585295321780224 I took out some finds from Congleton Metal Detecting Club to photograph before recording. There is just enough time to record a couple of finds on the database before heading home.

My Day of Archaeology however will not stop there, as after putting the kids to bed I will get to work on the final edits of my book ‘Fifty finds of Cheshire – Objects from the Portable Antiquities Scheme’ which I am hoping to submit to Amberly this weekend to be published in the coming months. So all in all quite a busy #DayofArchaeology.

New Bronze Age finds at the British Museum

We have a morning mystery. I have no idea what to expect when I get to the British Museum at 10am, other than there will be two hoards, both from the Late Bronze Age, c. 950-800 cal. BC., that have recently been found, and I have to identify the contents and write a specialist report.

If any of you have ever watched Time Team, you’ll know that archaeologists come in all shapes and sizes, and do numerous different jobs. So, we don’t all dig. At least not all the time. Rather than putting trowel to dirt, I spend most of my time routing around in museum archives looking through collections of artefacts.

I’m a doctoral researcher at the Groningen Institute of Archaeology, University of Groningen, in the Netherlands. I am doing my PhD on the use of bronze weapons, that is rapiers and swords, of the Later Bronze Age in southern England, c. 1400-950 cal. BC.

I’m what they call a metalwork expert, specialised in the bronze artefacts of the Bronze Age, in my case covering what is known as the Atlantic Bronze Age, being the British Isles, coastal and Channel France, the southern Low Countries, and Iberia. I currently live in London, and am in the last 6 weeks of writing up my thesis.

However, I was asked on Wednesday evening by the British Museum’s Curator of European Bronze Age archaeology in the Department of Prehistory and Europe, Dr. Ben Roberts, if I would stop by the British Museum and have a look at two new Late Bronze Age hoards that have just been discovered. Upon discovery they were reported to their local museum, where a Finds Liaison Officer for the Portable Antiquities Scheme would have reported and listed the objects. They have subsequently come to the British Museum to be studied and a short, specialist report produced on them.

It’s these specialist reports, known as treasury Reports, that I’m going to be working on today, and blogging about.

I have no idea what to expect when I get to the British Museum, other than there will be two hoards, both from the Late Bronze Age, c. 950-800 cal. BC, and that there are fragments of sword and socketed axe in them…

Further details about the Portable Antiquities Scheme, your local Finds Liaison Officer and what to do if you find something that you may believe to be of historical and archaeological significance can be found on the Portable Antiquities Website (http://finds.org.uk). Elsewhere on the Day of Archaeology site you’ll also find members of the Portable Antiquities Scheme blogging about their days too.