In July, I unveiled the title of the 5th University of Chester Archaeology Student Conference to take place at the Grosvenor Museum, Chester on 31st January 2020 – The Public Archaeology of Treasure. I followed this up in late October with a post advertising the student-organised and led public day conference taking place in the heart of the historic city of Chester. I also identified that the Friday conference will be supplemented by a Twitter Conference the following day, Saturday 1st February 2020.

Guest Speakers

We have two expert guest speakers lined up for the Friday conference:

A National Strategy for Treasure? – Gail Boyle

A Field Guide to Finding Grave Goods – Adam Daubney

Peter Reavill is serving as the discussant for the conference and its 14 student presentations exploring:

  1. the ethics and politics of archaeologists’ relationships with metal-detector users,
  2. tackling heritage crime and the illicit trade in antiquities,
  3. debating the repatriation of cultural treasures,
  4. critiquing fictional portrayals of treasure and treasure-hunting in popular culture,
  5. critiquing corporate marketing and the reporting of treasure and treasure-hunting in the media,
  6. innovative ways of reporting and displaying treasures,
  7. rethinking the definitions of treasures.

Student Talks

Here are the provisional titles of the student talks:

Rusty Connections? How Archaeologists Keep Up with Metal Detectorists – Jack Douglass

A Treasure Worth Keeping? A Comparison between the British and Irish Policies on Amateur Metal Detecting – Natasha Carr

The Theft of Culture: A Critical Analysis of Heritage Crime and the Illicit Trade in Antiquities – Jack Emery

The Heritage crimes of ISIS – Alfie Brear

Echoes of Imperialism? The British Museum’s Cultural Treasures as a Reflection of Modern Imperialism, Racism and Arrogance – Holly Blundell

Politics and political leaders and their effect on the process of repatriation – Robert Yates

Who really cares? The repatriation of ‘treasures’: The complexity of issues revolving around the repatriation of treasures and the wider implications on the public and professional landscape – Adam Andre

Romanticising the Archaeologist: Expectations vs Reality – James Raine

“Not all treasure is silver and gold, mate” The Deception of Treasure in Popular Cinema – Kayleigh Taylor

From Lara Croft to Piracy: The Representation of Treasure within Video Games -Kimberley Watt

Sensationalising Treasure: Media Reports on UK Discoveries – Jacob Adams

‘Yes. Wonderful Things.’ – Media Portrayal of Tombs as ‘Treasuries’ – Sophie Brown

Audio Bling: Beyond Vision in Reporting and Displaying Archaeological Treasures – Edward Antrobus

Defining Archaeological ‘Treasure’: What it Means to the Owner, the Archaeologist and the General Public – Samuel Sheldon-Grove

Twitter Conference on Saturday 1st February 2020

Meanwhile, I’m looking for academics and heritage professionals to present on one or more aspect of the public archaeology of treasure via Twitter on the Saturday. Email me – – to express interest in presenting as part of the Saturday 1st February Twitter conference. For guidelines, please follow the inspiration of the well-established Public Archaeology Twitter Conferences. 


I’m now especially pleased to unveil the logo and poster for the conference, designed by final-year student Kayleigh Taylor.


To repeat: the conference is FREE TO ALL and no registration is required. Show up after 09.00 for the 09.30 start, or drop in and out at any point during the day. The schedule of presentations will be circulated closer to the time.

As with previous years, the aim is for the student conference to be captured on video and professionally edited by the University of Chester’s Learning Technologists for dissemination online.

Public Archaeology Of Treasure2