Protecting our Archaeological
Heritage for the Nation.

Information for Landowners


If you or someone using your land has found something of archaeological significance, there is a legal requirement to report it to Treasure Trove. Please fill out the following form and e-mail, along with images, to

Treasure Trove Reporting Form - Word Document

Treasure Trove Reporting Form PDF 


Found something on your land?

If you find something of archaeological interest, or are unsure about what it may be, please contact in the first instance, along with a brief description and some images. If you are sure that it is an item of interest, you can fill out and send us a reporting form, which can be found here.

Under Scots Common Law, landowners have no property rights to portable antiquities. This means that artefacts found on your land are Crown property, and need to be reported to Treasure Trove. For more information on what happens to these artefacts and why they need to be reported, please take a look at our About page, and the Treasure Trove Code of Practice


Metal Detecting on your land

You may be approached by metal detectorists who seek permission to detect on your land. Before you agree, please ensure that you have familiarised yourself with the Treasure Trove Code of Practice, and that you are aware that if anything is found and claimed, as a landowner, you will have no claim to a reward payment unless you have a written agreement in place with the detectorist/s that states this. 

Always inform prospective metal detectorists of the scheduled sites on your land or if you are not sure, you can contact Historic Environment Scotland. For more information on detecting and scheduled monuments, please see here.


What if there are scheduled monuments on my land?

If your land has any areas either entirely or partially within the boundaries of a scheduled monument, metal detecting is illegal on these sites without the permission of Historic Environment Scotland. If you know of illegal detecting taking place on scheduled sites, contact Police Scotland on 101 and report it as a Heritage Crime. Please also contact Historic Environment Scotland (email: - tel: 0131 668 8600). For for information on metal detecting and scheduled monuments, please see here.

To check if your land has a scheduled monument on it, search your location online using PastMap:


What should I do if a detectorist finds something on my land?

If an object, or group of objects, are discovered, landowners should:

  • Check that the finder/s have contacted and reported the find to Treasure Trove. If they have not, ask them to ASAP or contact us yourself.
  • Make sure that finders record each findpot using a GPS device or map. National Grid Reference preferred e.g. NJ 12345 67890
  • If the finder/s leave the items with you, do not clean the finds or apply oils, varnishes, waxes or acidic substances.

In situ finds, such as hoards, may contain valuable archaeological information. In this event:

  • Ask finder/s to leave the objects in the ground and cover over.
  • Take a GPS/10-figure grid reference or mark on a map the location.
  • Do not publicise that anything has been found on your land and ask the finder/s to keep the discovery to themselves for the time being.
  • Contact TTU or your local authority archaeologist immediately.


What should be reported?

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 not be reported?

Natural artefacts such as fossils or animal bones are not covered under Treasure Trove and do not need to be reported. If you find what you believe to be human remains, please contact the police immediately.

Recovered wreck should be reported to the Receiver of Wreck (