The British Museum has lauded the fantastic discoveries made across England and Wales last year, which it said could have a “significant impact” on our understanding of the past.
In 2018, enthusiasts reported 13 discoveries to the North East Yorkshire Coroner’s Court, which holds inquests into treasure finds in Scarborough, Ryedale and Hambleton.
That was higher than the previous year’s haul, when there were 10 reported finds.
Anyone who discovers what they believe could be classed as treasure has to tell the coroner within 14 days, so the court can hold an inquest to decide who should get the loot.
If they don’t, they could be punished with an unlimited fine or up to three months in prison.
Ian Richardson, treasure registrar at the British Museum, said: “The Treasure Act, administered by the British Museum, exists to make sure that the most important archaeological discoveries are able to be acquired by public museums.
“If treasure finds are not reported, as is required by law, then we risk losing artefacts that could have significant impact on our understanding of the past.
“The general public are fascinated by the history beneath our feet, and enjoy seeing new discoveries and learning how they help fill in the gaps in our knowledge.
“Treasure finds can also contribute to an enhanced sense of place as people are proud of discoveries from their local area.”