THE Portable Antiquities scheme, which protects archaeological finds in the UK, has announced a 50 per cent rise in reports of discovered artefacts for the past year.

The scheme, which runs in 11 regions of England and Wales, uses local finds liaison officers to work with finders of artefacts to ensure that objects are properly recorded and researched. Where possible, they examine the sites the artefacts have come from.

The annual report shows that in 1999-2000, 31,783 objects were reported under the scheme compared with nearly 21,000 the year before.