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15 Jul 2020

Online Lecture Series

The new online lecture series by Birmingham Museums sees in-house experts introducing the city’s amazing collection direct to you in your home. Streamed live via zoom, this exclusive series covers a range of engaging and thought-provoking topics.

The weekly one-hour lectures run over four weeks. Discover the first series below.

Series 1: The Online Summer Series – Treasure Discovered 

For our first series, we’re working in partnership with the Portable Antiquities Scheme, which recorded its 1.5millionth archaeological find in July 2020. Run by the British Museum and Birmingham Museums Trust, the scheme employs a team of four Finds Liaison Officers that cover the West Midlands region. Every year thousands of archaeological objects are discovered, many of these unearthed by metal detectorists, but also by people whilst out walking, gardening or going about their daily work. Finds recorded by the team help advance knowledge of the history and archaeology of England and Wales.

Each week the Finds Liaison Officers will bring their expertise direct to you in a series of one-hour lectures with the opportunity to ask questions at the end.

This series takes place on Wednesdays 12th, 19th, 26th August and 2nd September at 6.30pm ( USA & Canada ET 1.30pm).

Week 1 - 12th August: 50 finds from Staffordshire, Teresa Gilmore

Since 1997, the Portable Antiquities Scheme has been recording archaeological discoveries made by members of the public from every county in England and Wales. The scheme operates the largest database of archaeological finds in the world, now totalling over 1.5 million. Over 10,000 of these objects were found in Staffordshire. This talk highlights a recent publication, 50 Finds from Staffordshire by Amberley Publishing, which highlights author Teresa Gilmore’s top 50 finds from the region. Teresa will discuss these discoveries, along with the important work that the Portable Antiquities Scheme does.

Week 2 - 19th August: The Leekfrith Torcs (The Earliest Iron Age Gold in Britain), Teresa Gilmore

First the Staffordshire Hoard, discovered in 2009, rewrote the history books about Anglo-Saxon England. Then less than ten years later, another hoard found in Staffordshire is revolutionising our understanding of the Iron Age. In December 2016, two metal detectorists discovered the find of their lifetimes in the Staffordshire Moorlands. Not one, nor two but four gold torcs, found in close proximity to each other. Quickly realising their significance, they were reported and have since been analysed by experts and officially declared Treasure. This talk covers their discovery, reporting and analysis, revealing a deeper understanding of how important Iron Age Staffordshire was.

Week 3 - 26th August: A tuneful tale of treasure (or what to do when your pianos full of gold), Peter Reavill

In 2016 the Portable Antiquities Scheme received a phone call from a secondary school in Shropshire reporting a find of gold coins hidden inside an upright piano. In this illustrated lecture Peter will explain the history of the 6kg hoard of gold and the international hunt for its original owner.

Week 4 - 2nd September: 50 finds from Worcestershire, Victoria Allnatt

Victoria’s book 50 Finds from Worcestershire explores the landscape of Worcestershire which has been an attractive place for people to settle for thousands of years. This talk will reveal objects from the county’s past and features an array of finds, from a Paleolithic handaxe that is more than 400,000 years old, to a hoard of 3,000 silver Roman coins discovered near an Iron Age hillfort. The archaeological objects featured in the talk were mainly found by metal detectorists and have all been recorded on the Portable Antiquities Scheme database.

The lectures will be delivered by:

  • Teresa Gilmore - Finds Liaison Officer for East Staffordshire and North West Midlands - based at Birmingham Museum & Art Gallery.
  • Peter Reavill - Peter has worked for the Portable Antiquities Scheme since 2003 as the Finds Liaison Officer for Herefordshire and Shropshire - based at Shropshire Museums’ Collection Centre, Ludlow.
  • Victoria Allnatt - Finds Liaison Officer for Staffordshire & West Midlands - based at Birmingham Museum & Art Gallery.

How it works

Once you have signed up to the series, a unique invite will be sent for an online zoom webinar, along with instructions of how to log on. Each week follow the instructions on the invite to join the lecture.

Make a booking

Pre-booking is required. Each ticket costs £49 and covers all four lectures.

Book a ticket online