50 Finds from Staffordshire

Book Review

By Teresa Gilmore; reviewed by Trevor James, published 24th May 2018

Objects from the Portable Antiquities Scheme

50 Finds from Staffordshire: Objects from the Portable Antiquities Scheme, Teresa Gilmore, Amberley, 2018, 96p, £14-99. ISBN 978-1-4456-7548-0.

Teresa Gilmore’s book is valuable at three levels. Her 50 Finds from Staffordshire provides a very helpful insight into archaeological discoveries within Staffordshire, largely over the last ten years, all reported to the Portable Antiquities Scheme. At one end of the spectrum, of course, the internationally significant Staffordshire Hoard is included but the immense range encompasses a chronology stretching from the Palaeolithic and Mesolithic to the relatively modern. It reveals the extent of what is still being unearthed, all the time enriching our perspectives and awareness of exactly what was being achieved by previous generations. Each entry is very carefully described in a very accessible manner.

This is also a testament to the general integrity of metal detectorists who have been faithfully reporting their finds to the Portable Antiquities Scheme and thereby adding to the national database of exactly what has been found, examined and recorded, even if the majority of the items ultimately remain in private ownership.

Its third merit is that the preface to the book contains a very informative and lucid introduction to how the Portable Antiquities Scheme emerged and how it functions, and therefore how it has evolved as a crucial contributor to our endlessly expanding awareness of the human achievements that had taken place in our landscape.