Archaeologists work with and debate treasure in legal, ethical, and research terms. But what is ‘treasure’ and how is it understood in contemporary society? This conference will explore how public archaeologists foster education and engagement with ‘treasure’, but also critically evaluate treasure-related misconceptions, abuses, and both unethical and illegal practices.

Incorporating presentations of the research of University of Chester final-year Archaeology students with contributions by experts in the fields of heritage and archaeology, this public day conference will tackle key controversial dimensions of the public archaeology treasure. In particular, the conference asks whether ‘treasure’-focused practices and narratives should be simply challenged and countered. Instead, can public archaeologists create new archaeological strategies and stories that promote the ethical, responsible and culturally respectful discussion of rare and unique items from the human past? Moreover, can public archaeologists create new definitions of treasure that directly challenge criteria focusing on artisanal skill and monetary value?

Free Day Conference – Friday 31st January 2020, Grosvenor Museum, Chester

The Public Archaeology of Treasure is the 5th University of Chester Archaeology Student Conference Taking place on Friday 31st January 2020 at the Grosvenor Museum, Chester. Registration will open from 09.00 for a 09.30 start and the conference will come to a close by 16.30. The event is open and free to all members of the public.

Special guest speakers

We are pleased to announce 2 very special expert guest speakers will present at the conference:

Gail Boyle – Senior Curator of Archaeology and World Cultures, Bristol Museums

Adam Daubney – Archaeological Finds Specialist

Peter Reavill of the Portable Antiquities Scheme has kindly agreed to be discussant for the day.

Twitter Conference – Saturday 1st February 2020 #BlingArch

The Twitter Conference will run on Saturday 1st February from 9am GMT. To propose a contribution of up to 15 slides on any theme relating to the public archaeology of treasure, email: by 9am, Wednesday 28th January 2020.