What have I found?

What have I found?

Many important objects are found by people who are not archaeologists.

If you think you have found something of interest, please let us know by following these guidelines. We can discover more about the past by keeping a record of these finds. While we will try our best to identify your object, it is not our job to decide how much it is worth.

If you are interested in knowing more about the monuments people built in the past consult the DFC Historic Environment Division (HED) website. HED records, protects, conserves and promotes Northern Ireland’s historic environment. You can access information on thousands of historic monuments/ archaeological sites and on maps via their website.   

Reporting your find

The law requires people to report any objects of archaeological significance that they find to the museum. For more details, see the Historic Monuments & Archaeological Objects Order (Northern Ireland) 1995.

If you can, please contact us by email (greer.ramsey@nmni.com & niamh.baker@nmni.com) with a photograph of your find and provide as much detail as possible:

  • your contact phone number
  • your name and address
  • when and where you found the object
  • the size of the object (or a scale in the photograph)
  • a description of the object, including what it is made from (if you can tell)

We will contact you when we have read your email and performed some preliminary research. Please do not bring the find into the museum, there may be no one on hand to help you.

What happens to my find?

The museum will return your find to you after it has been photographed and recorded. You may be asked if you wish to donate the object to us.


Certain finds reported to the museum may be treasure. These are mostly gold or silver objects that are over 300 years old. Please note that individual gold and silver coins are not treasure.

The coroner will be informed of your discovery. The object will be kept until your case is heard in the coroner’s court. If your find is indeed treasure, you will be entitled to a finder’s reward, shared with the owner of the land where the item was found.

More details regarding Treasure can be found from the Department for Communities web site.

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