Coronavirus (COVID-19)

In-line with public health guidelines, the Treasure Trove Unit will be providing a reduced service until further notice. We will continue to monitor e-mails but at this time we will be unable to meet finders and take in artefacts. All outreach events until the end of June have been postponed. We will continue to review the situation and will resume normal service as soon as we are able.

In the circumstances we kindly encourage individuals to suspend metal detecting activities in the coming months to protect Scotland’s cultural heritage and to minimise impact when normal service is resumed.

If you have found an object of archaeological or historical significance by chance, please continue to report the find via e-mail (treasuretrove@nms.ac.uk) with images and findspots.


Treasure Trove Unit

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Treasure Trove Unit

The role of Treasure Trove is to ensure that objects of cultural significance from Scotland’s past are protected for the benefit of the nation and preserved in museums across the country.

Treasure Trove is based on the principles of the Scots common law bona vacantia (ownerless goods). The Treasure Act (1996) does not apply in Scotland.

In Scotland, any ownerless objects found by chance or through activities such as metal-detecting, field-walking, or archaeological excavation become the property of the Crown and therefore may be claimed as treasure trove.

With the exception of modern objects, e.g. Victorian coins and machinery fragments, etc., any object considered to be significant, regardless of its age or composition, may be claimed as treasure by the Crown.

Contact us

For any inquiries relating to the Treasure Trove Unit, or if you have an archaeological object to report please don’t hesitate to get in touch. For TTU staff please see ‘People’.

Contact Emily Freeman or Ella Paul: TreasureTrove@nms.ac.uk

phone: 0131 247 4082/4025

Find us on:

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