Beneath Our Feet Everyday Discoveries Reshaping British History

Michael Lewis, Ian Richardson, Mackenzie Crook

Recounts the incredible stories of more than fifty archaeological treasures recently found by ordinary people, and which are reshaping our understanding of British history.

Britain has a rich past, with incredible archaeology. Every day, new discoveries transform our understanding of its history. Most are made not by professional archaeologists, but by ordinary members of the public. Some are chance finds; others are recovered by the thousands of fieldwalkers, mudlarks, and metal detectorists who scour Britain's countryside and waterways looking for artifacts and coins. Beneath Our Feet is a celebration of this growing public involvement in archaeology, and of the groundbreaking work of the Portable Antiquities Scheme managed by the British Museum in England and Amgueddfa Cymru in Wales. Its mission is collaboration with public finders, encouraging them to report their discoveries so they can be recorded on a national database and shared with archaeologists, historians, and everyone with an interest in the past buried beneath our feet. From the 3,500-year-old Ringlemere Cup to the Anglo-Saxon Staffordshire Hoard, a heart pendant connected to Henry VIII and Catherine of Aragon, and a jar of American gold coins buried by a Jewish refugee fleeing the Nazis, these are the stories of more than fifty astonishing treasures, the people who found them, and how they are reshaping British history.


Michael Lewis


Michael Lewis is head of portable antiquities and treasure at the British Museum and a visiting professor at the University of Reading and the University of Helsinki. He is known for his research on medieval finds associated with religion and everyday life and is coauthor of The Story of the Bayeux Tapestry (with Dave Musgrove).

Ian Richardson


Ian Richardson is the senior treasure registrar at the British Museum and secretary to the treasure valuation committee. He has a particular interest in postmedieval archaeology— and especially vervels!

Mackenzie Crook

Foreword By

Mackenzie Crook is the writer, director, and star of the BAFTA-winning television series Detectorists.