Identification Services

Archaeological Artefact and Coin Identification Service

A drop-in identification service for coins and archaeological objects runs in the Ashmolean Museum on the first Wednesday of every month from 12 – 3pm. It is located in ‘Exploring the Past’ on the Lower Ground Floor (Gallery 1 on the map).

This service is run by the Heberden Coin Room and Department of Antiquities, and we aim to identify all archaeological objects and coins brought to the service that are within the scope of our collections and expertise.

Please note that Islamic coins and medals cannot be identified at the ID service but we can photograph them for identification by the appropriate curator at a later date.

We regret that we cannot take items in, or provide either valuation or authentication of objects. Neither the Ashmolean Museum nor members of staff can accept liability for opinions given on objects submitted for examination, or for information provided.

Please contact the service in advance before bringing large numbers of objects for identification, as the service gets busy and staff may need to restrict the number of objects examined in order to be able to deal with all enquiries on the day.

The ID service for coins can be contacted at

The ID service for archaeological objects can be contacted at

Archaeological objects or coins found in England or Wales

Archaeological objects or coins with a known findspot from England or Wales, and dating to before around 1700, can be reported to the Portable Antiquities Scheme through their network of Finds Liaison Officers (follow link to see a list of the Officers and their contact details). The Portable Antiquities Scheme seeks to identify and record archaeological finds within a national database. Anni Byard, the local Finds Liaison Officer, will be in the museum for the Identification Service on the first Wednesday of every month.

Works of Art

For the identification of works of art and other non-archaeological objects, please contact the curatorial departments of the Ashmolean as appropriate.

Department of Western Art:
Enquiries for works on paper, paintings and booking an appointment for a Wednesday when we try to have curators available for opinions:
Enquiries for all other non-archaeological objects:
Further information: /
Department of Eastern Art:
Further information:
Cast Gallery:

The Treasure Act, 1996

All finders of Treasure have a legal obligation to report such items under the Treasure Act 1996. Treasure includes all gold and silver objects over 300 years old, groups of two or more coins over 300 years old which come from the same find, and groups of two or more prehistoric base-metal objects which come from the same find. For further information go to If you think that your artefact may constitute Treasure, you are legally obliged to report the find to the local Coroner within 14 days. For Treasure found in Oxfordshire or Berkshire, Anni Byard, the local Finds Liaison Officer, can help with the identification of Treasure items and the reporting process. For finds from other areas, please follow this link for a list of all of the Finds Liaison Officers by area.