Information For Finders
Under Scottish law all portable antiquities of archaeological, historical or cultural significance are subject to claim by the Crown through the Treasure Trove system and must be reported.
If you think you have found something of archaeological significance in Scotland, you are obliged by law to report it to Treasure Trove. Please fill out the following form and e-mail, along with images, to email@example.com:
Familiarise yourself with the Treasure Trove Code of Practice, available here. If you are metal detecting, ensure you have landowner permission before going to the site. This includes public parks.
It is a criminal offence to detect on scheduled sites without permission from Historic Environment Scotland and you must check the status of the land before detecting upon it. For more information on detecting and scheduled monuments, please see here.
Before you go detecting, check for land designations with the landowner and with Historic Environment Scotland on their website here. If in doubt, contact either the Treasure Trove Unit or Historic Environment Scotland.
Another useful resource for checking land designations is through Past Map, which can be accessed online: https://pastmap.org.uk/map
What should I do if I find something?
If an object, or group of objects, are discovered, finders should:
- Accurately record each findpot using a GPS device or map. National Grid Reference preferred e.g. NJ 12345 67890
- Individually bag each find and clearly label with findspot.
- Do not clean the finds or apply oils, varnishes, waxes or acidic substances.
- Report objects to the TTU (see Contact Details). E-mail images and reporting form in the first instance.
- Information on how to hand in finds to TTU can be found here: Guidance
In situ finds, such as hoards, may contain valuable archaeological information. In this event:
- Leave objects in the ground and cover over.
- Take a GPS/10-figure grid reference or mark on a map the location.
- Contact TTU or your local authority archaeologist immediately.
What should I report?
Everything! Well, most things. Even the most unassuming object could be something important, so do not hesitate to send us images and a findspot. What we do not need to see are modern ceramics and glass, modern coins or bits of tractor. If in doubt, contact us.
What should I not report?
Natural artefacts such as fossils or animal bones are not covered under Treasure Trove and do not need to be reported. If you have found a fossil, please consult the Scottish Fossil Code | NatureScot for information on how to collect and report fossils responsibly.
If you find what you believe to be human remains, please contact Police Scotland in the first instance.