This time I want to share my volunteering experience with the Portable Antiquities Scheme (PAS) with you. I volunteered with them for 4 months. The Finds Liaison Officer (FLO) was friendly, patient and knowledgeable and always shared a great deal of the artefacts’ history with me which made my volunteering experience very enjoyable.

Above: Measuring an artefact with a ruler.

 

My volunteering tasks included many aspects of finds processing: taking pictures of objects using DSLR, editing photos, and recording objects in the online database at
www.finds.org.uk. Some examples of finds I recorded are this toy (ID: KENT-EB560A) and this ring (ID: KENT-E91163), and lots and lots of coins, such as this one (ID: KENT-06F297).

 

KENT-EB560A:

A copper-alloy toy from circa between 1500 and 19.00. Picture from Kent County Council. License: CC BY 2.0.

 

When taking photos one tries to capture the object as precisely as
possible and with the right lighting. There should be no light reflections, but the object should still be bright enough, so that small features are well visible. Also, as I recorded artefacts I slowly built up the necessary knowledge to use catalogues and reference books to research the origins of objects.

In the beginning I recorded only coinage, later other artefacts were added to the mix. I had some experience with identifying coinage from a numismatics summer school at the British Museum. Recording coinage is slightly different from recording other artefacts, as one focuses on different features, and the purpose of objects that are not coinage is not always obvious.

It’s also not easy to be a Finds Liaison Officer because you need to contribute a lot of time serving the public. For example, you need to hold sessions twice or three times a month to let the public consult you regarding the artefacts they hold. If the FLO confirmed they are artefacts within the historical period specified by PAS, then the artefact will be collected for the moment, and the recording process starts.

If you want to know more about it, the PAS website has many guides on finds recording. If you want to volunteer with them, check out their website or get in touch with the FLO at FLO@kent.gov.uk.

大家好!我想和你分享我在便攜式古物計劃 (PAS) 的義工服務經驗。我的體驗為期4個月。 職員態度友好、有耐性、知識淵博,他樂於與我介紹文物的歷史,使整個體驗非常愉快。

我的任務包括:使用數碼單反相機拍攝文物、編輯照片、在線數據庫中記錄(www.finds.org.uk)。拍照時,應有合適照明,以精確地捕捉物體的細節,並注意沒有反射。此外,在記錄文物時需要觸類旁通,運用參考書更深入研究物件的歷史及學習如何仔細描述。經我手上記錄的例子有這個古代小玩具(ID:KENT-EB560A)、戒指(ID:KENT-E91163)以及一些古幣(ID:KENT-06F297)。

在開始時我主要記錄古幣,後來也有記錄其他類型的文物。我從大英博物館的錢幣學暑期課程有上過識別造幣的堂,知道記錄硬幣和其他文物的方法略有不同,例如硬幣如果印製清楚的話可以讓人輕易了解它的製造年份、地點、歷史,但其他文物的背後故事總不是顯而易見的。

當Finds Liasion Officer也不是容易的事,因為每個月都要有大概兩三次特定時間跟公眾鑑定古物,如果您確認出是古物的話,就要跟當事人溝通,收起古物,才開展一系統程序。這個屬於公眾考古學的範圍,有機會再談。

如果你想延伸閱讀,PAS網站上有很多指南可供參考。

 

Categories: Archaeology 考古