AS more and more detectorists scour the land for what has been left under our feet, the body responsible for ownerless property has launched a review into how archaeological finds are processed in Scotland.

The King’s and Lord Treasurer’s Remembrancer announced a review to find out if the Treasure Trove Unit has a system that is suitable now and in the future.

The review comes as the popularity of hobby metal-detecting, mudlarking and the requirements of commercial archaeology have significantly increased in recent years, resulting in an increase in archaeological finds being reported to the unit.

Culture Minister Christina McKelvie said the review would “help to promote closer collaboration between archaeologists in the Treasure Trove Unit, the metal detectorists who find artefacts and the museums and collections which put them on display”.

“With the growing popularity of metal detecting, it is also important that this review provides clarity around what items should be acquired for the nation and what payment should be made to the finders,” she said.

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The unit is the first port of call for new discoveries. It carries out investigations and object assessment and, where it needs to, investigates find spots.

The unit decides whether an object should be claimed or not. If an object is claimed, it will appear before the Scottish Archaeological Finds Allocation Panel which advises which museum an object should be allocated to and on the level of ex gratia award for the finder.

John Lough, the King’s and Lord Treasurer’s Remembrancer, said: “Scotland is rich in archaeology and Treasure Trove has added significant material to Scotland’s museums.

“This review is timely and an important step towards improving and strengthening the treasure trove system. We want to ensure that artefacts found in Scotland provide maximum benefit to the public in understanding the significance of Scotland’s archaeological heritage.

“Those who enjoy our cultural heritage can make their contribution and participate in a way that will be beneficial for all.”