Finds Group

FSIG minutes 17 Jan 2017


The first meeting of the CIfA Finds Group took place in November 1989. The function of the group is to represent the interests of finds workers to CIfA and in all the activities of the Institute. It also:

  • advises council on finds related issues and reviews relevant documents etc.
  • acts as a focus for all members of the CIfA who have an interest in finds.
  • produces a newsletter and holds seminars and meetings, to discuss the latest issues.

We have also produced the documents Guidelines for Finds Work and the Standards and guidance for the collection, documentation, conservation and research of archaeological materials.

Due to the broad field we work in the group focuses on themes such as practice and the relationship between finds and other areas of archaeology. The main aim is to promote finds work constructively within the structure of our profession.

Join the Group

Membership of the Finds Group is open to anybody with an interest in Finds - in the broadest sense of the word. Membership is free to CIfA members.Non-members can join by PayPal


Social Media

Twitter -


Phil Mills (Chair)
Louise Rayner (Treasurer)

Rowena Hart (Ordinary Committee Member)
Kayt Marter-Brown (Ordinary Committee Member)
Duncan Brown (Ordinary Committee Member)
Mags Felter (Ordinary Committee Member)
Marie-Claire Rackham Mann (Ordinary Committee Member)
Alex Beeby (Ordinary Committee Member)
Stephen Brunning (Newsletter Editor)
Dr Ruth Pelling (AEA representative)

Committee Biographies

Phil Mills is a freelance ceramic building material and Roman pottery specialist.
He Graduated from Bradford in 1990 and was awarded his PhD in 2006 from the University of Leicester. He is married with one son and is based in Leicester. His main research interest are the use of ceramics in the past, studying the Roman economy via ceramics material and integrating finds data from excavation and field survey as a means to answering archaeological questions.

Kayt Marter Brown BA (Hons) MSc MCIfA
Following an archaeology degree at Winchester I focused my interests on archaeological finds with an MSc at University Sheffield. Since graduating I have worked for 20 years in commercial archaeology in the south of England, primarily as a Romano-British pottery specialist but also working on painted wall plaster and ceramic building materials. In the mid 1990’s I joined CIfA as a student and have been actively involved ever since, holding committee posts with the Finds Group, being a previous Hon Vice chair (personal and membership) of CIfA and more recently elected to advisory council. I am currently the Finds and Archives officer for Surrey County Archaeology Unit.

Duncan H. Brown, BA, FSA, MCIfA
Head of Archaeological Archives, Historic England

Duncan Brown joined Historic England (or English Heritage as it was then) as Head of Archaeological Archives in 2010. Since then he has served as the founding Chair of the CifA Special Interest Group for Archaeological Archives and vice-Chair of the Society for Museum Archaeology. He represents HE on the Archaeological Archives Forum and the European Archaeological Consilium Working Group for Archaeological Archives. Duncan has also held the positions of President of the Medieval Pottery Research Group and Chair of the CIfA Finds Group.

Before joining HE, Duncan worked for Southampton City Museums, initially as a medieval pottery researcher, then Curator of Archaeology. In 2002 he published ‘Pottery in Medieval Southampton’ and has also produced many articles and papers on medieval pottery, museum archaeology and archaeological archives. He continues to study post-Roman ceramics and is a co-author of the recently published ‘A Standard for Pottery Studies in Archaeology’.

Margrethe Felter, Senior Conservator, York Archaeological Trust
Mags has worked in the conservation department at YAT since 2005 after completing an MA in Principles of Conservation and MSc in Conservation for archaeology and Museums at the Institute of Archaeology, University College, London.
Mags works on all archaeological materials both freshly excavated and those in museums but has a keen interest in bone and antler objects as well as metals and on-site conservation and lifting of fragile materials. She has attended excavations/heritage sites in Orkney, Turkey, Jordan, Azerbeijan and Turkmenistan, as well as sites closer to home. She recently spent a month in Copenhagen, on a continuing professional development placement at the National Museum conservation department.
Mags is also an Accredited member of ICON (the Institute of Conservation).

Marie-Claire Rackham Mann
Marie-Claire is 42 years old and mother to a daughter aged 13. Following a successful career in the MoD, she returned to academia and following the completion of a BA (Hons) in Classics and Archaeology she undertook a couple of years of excavation work for a number of companies as a freelance archaeologist and as a paid archaeologist. She has an interest in Finds generally which prompted her to join the Finds committee. She also provides a Finds identification service albeit on a limited scale for the present time. She is currently studying for her MSc in Archaeological Practice with the University of the Highlands and Islands. Marie-Claire is also the Director of an Archaeological Company, Aegis-Scot Archaeology Ltd currently based in Orkney.

Dr Ruth Pelling is Senior Archaeobotanist within Historic England’s Excavation and Analysis Team and an Honorary Research fellow at the University of Nottingham, with a background in UK commercial archaeobotany.
Ruth maintains a research interest in British archaeobotany, including changing cultural expression through food and farming, particularly in the Bronze Age and Saxon periods, and is interested in the value of linking archaeobotany with other finds specialisms. She is most strongly committed to promoting better standards in environmental finds recording and reporting, and on-going career development and mentoring, especially in the commercial sector: she administers the Archaeobotanical Working Group (AWG), is the UK contact for the ArboDat 2016 English Version© recording database, and maintains close links with the Association for Environmental Archaeology (AEA) having served on the committee for several years.


Alex Beeby, Ceramic Specialist, Archaeological Project Services
Alex studied Archaeology at undergraduate level before going on to read for an MA in Roman archaeology at the University of Leicester, graduating in 2005. After four years working as a field archaeologist, Alex joined Archaeological Project Services (part of the Heritage Trust of Lincolnshire) to train as a ceramic specialist, a post funded by a CIfA workplace learning bursary.
As well as overseeing the post-excavation program at Archaeological Project Services, Alex works on Roman and post-Roman pottery and ceramic building material from across the country but with a particular focus on finds from the Midlands and Eastern England. Alex is especially interested in the pottery of the Late Roman period and the potential ceramics have to help understand the changes of that time. Alex also has a strong interest in outreach work and teaches archaeology adult education courses for the Trust.

Specialist competence matrix

We have recently introduced specialist competence matrices, which have been compiled by our CIfA special interest groups and are tailored to their specific areas. These are to assist applicants and the Validation committee to see where you demonstrate the grade applied for.

Forthcoming events

Interpreting Finds: Ecofacts and Artefacts
Event hosted by CIfA Finds Group and including the Finds Group AGM

Place: John Peek Room at Birmingham & Midland Institute, 9 Margaret Street, Birmingham, B3 3BS
Date: 26th September 2018
Time: 9:30 am to 16:30 pm
Cost: £25 CIfA members, £35 non-members, including one year group membership (includes lunch)

This is a one-day event where invited speakers will present recent and innovative approaches to the study of artefacts and ecofacts, highlighting their potential for contributing to an archaeological project. By exploring themes around multi-disciplinary approaches to interpreting artefact and ecofact assemblages we hope to encourage dialogue between different branches of our profession and to consider ‘Finds’ in the broadest sense. Through the theme ‘Ecofacts to Artefacts’ we are hoping to explore examples of environmental material that has been given meaning due to the use, modification or depositional context of the item – whether alongside more traditional artefacts or not!

Papers will include:

• Piggy in the middle. When are fossils artefacts? - Peter Leeming
• Roman occurrences of fossil artefacts in Surrey/SE England - Kayt Hawkins
• Antler as Object. Looking at how environmentalists and finds specialists deal with antler and examining how it can be treated and what it can reveal - Ian Riddler
• When does an ecofact become and artefact? Some examples of plant remains as objects? - Ruth Pelling
• Metapodial Tools. The slightly-worked caprine metapodia of Iron Age and Anglo-Saxon date, and what they might have been used for – Ian Riddler
• Marvellous Mesolithic Mycology - the challenges and the approaches required to tackle the unusual collection of humanly modified Mesolithic fungus at the world famous Star Carr site - Charlotte Wilkinson

The session will also promote the advocacy role of the Finds Group in promoting best practice across all finds specialisms and within the wider professional community. The event will incorporate the Finds Group AGM and a presentation on Chartership.

For more details, download the Flyer and visit the Eventbrite page where you can also book:

The draft programme is now available here

If you have any queries about the event, please email Kerry Wiggins (kerry.wiggins [at]


There are vacancies for Chair, Treasurer and Ordinary committee member. The position of Secretary is currently filled by a co-opted member who will stand for election into this role. If you wish to stand for any of these roles, including the role of Secretary, please complete the nomination form and return it by Monday 3 September 2018 to kerry.wiggins [at]

Previous events

ICON Archaeology Group Seminar - Archaeology on Display The Archaeology Group AGM combined with a seminar discussing 'Archaeology on Display' and a visit to the 'Tunnel: The Archaeology of Crossrail' exhibition, which displays the range of archaeological objects unearthed by Crossrail, Europe's largest infrastructure project. *For more information on the event please click here

Interpreting Finds: innovative and multi-disciplinary approaches in post excavation

  • The session promoted the advocacy role of the Finds Group in promoting best practice
    across all finds specialisms and within the wider professional community. The event also
    incorporated the Finds Group AGM. * Revised programme

  • Finds Group AGM - The AGM was held at the CIfA conference on Friday 22 April 2016 at 12.30pm.

  • Dealing with Organic Finds CPD Workshop - This CPD workshop organised by the CIfA Finds Special Interest Group and the Association for Environmental Archaeology (AEA) was held on Wednesday 28 May 2014 at the University of Leicester. The programme and further information can be found here

Annual report


Business Plan

Business plan 2016 - 2019

AGM Minutes

May 2017
December 2013
July 2012

Committee Minutes

FSIG Minutes 18 Jan 2018
FSIG minutes 28 Sept 2017
FSIG minutes 17 Jan 2017
14 February 2014
22 May 2013
11 February 2013
12 September 2012
18 January 2012
21 September 2011
19 January 2011


Spring 2016
Autumn 2013
Spring 2013
Autumn 2012
Spring 2012
Autumn 2011
Spring 2011

Chartered Institute for Archaeologists
Power Steele Building, Wessex Hall
Whiteknights Road, Earley,
Reading RG6 6DE

0118 966 2841
admin [at]