Finds Group

Artefacts, Conservation, Ecofacts

A poster advertising the CIfA Finds Group Conference and AGM 2024. The title of the conference is Pottery Studies in Archaeology: New research and resources. Tuesday 17 September, Online Only. An inset image shows archaeological pottery placed on finds bags, viewed through a magnifying glass.

Annual conference and AGM 2024

We will be holding our AGM on 17 September 2024

The CIfA Finds Special Interest Group 2024 AGM will be accompanied by a day of pottery talks and networking. This online-only event will include presentations from pottery specialists on new research and resources in pottery studies. It will be followed by an optional networking session aimed at aspiring and current pottery specialists, with representatives across the pottery disciplines answering audience questions.

Booking details and full program coming soon. We hope to see you all there!

The Finds Group represents the interests of those working with finds in all the activities of CIfA.

The Group also:

• Produces and reviews standards, guidance and toolkits as relevant to finds.
• Sends out a bi-annual newsletter of the latest CPD opportunities and Finds Group news.
• Holds a yearly meeting and AGM discussing the latest research, best practice.
• Advises CIfA Council on finds-related issues.
• Acts as a focus for those with an interest in finds.

2023 Conference recordings now available

Presentations given during the Archaeological Archives Group and Finds Group day conference in September 2023 are now available to view online, free of charge. Visit: The Conference Programme can be found here: 2023 Finds and Archives Conference Programme

Our Work

Since our first meeting in 1989(!) we have produced lots of standards, guidance and toolkits to help disseminate best practices for finds work. These include:

Toolkit for finds recording
Toolkit for specialist reporting
Toolkit for finds recording: Roman Coinage
Standards and guidance for the collection, documentation, conservation and research of archaeological materials found on the Standards webpage

The group has also developed the specialist competence matrix to assist accreditation applicants and the Validation committee to see where you demonstrate the grade applied for when working as a finds specialist.

You can also get the latest from the Finds Group on our Facebook and Twitter pages.

Join the Group

Membership of the Finds Group is open to anyone with an interest in finds - in the broadest sense of the word! Membership is free to CIfA members through the Members area login. Those who are not members of the institute will need to pay an annual £10 fee and can join here


Emily Johnson (Chair)
Imogen Wood (Treasurer)
Bekky Hillman (Secretary)
Peter Guest
Anna Tyacke
Ruth Beveridge
Deborah Fox
Rachel Cubitt
Laura Ratcliffe-Warren
Mags Felter (Advisor)

Committee bios

Emily Johnson (Chair)
Emily is a senior zooarchaeologist with over a decade of experience analysing animal bone assemblages in the UK and beyond. She completed her PhD in 2017 at the University of Exeter which focused on using bone fracture and fragmentation to understand early Neolithic bone fat exploitation in Europe. Since then she has been analysing bones in development-led archaeology for Archaeology South-East. In addition, Emily coordinates ASE’s program of digital outreach, managing social media accounts and creating blogs, videos and podcasts.

Imogen Wood (Treasurer)
Imogen is a pottery specialist and petrographer based in the South West of England with 25 years of experience in regional Prehistoric, Romano-British and early medieval ceramics. Her career spans field archaeology, doctoral research and freelance work, pursuing her research interests into the early medieval period in Cornwall through excavation and new sociocultural approaches to interpreting petrographic analysis. Imogen is passionate about disseminating archaeology working with primary schools and numerous community projects.

Bekky Hillman (Secretary)
Having been inspired to pursue a career in archaeology while fieldwalking with friends, Bekky graduated from the University of Birmingham in 2002 and put her career on hold to start a family and raise four children. After establishing herself as a freelance post excavation specialist Bekky joined Archaeology Warwickshire in 2017 and now supervises the post excavation department, working closely with project staff and specialists to facilitate smooth project delivery and ensure standards are maintained. She has a love of all things finds related and is developing a specialism in archaeobotany.

Peter Guest
Peter is an independent archaeologist and numismatist with 30+ years’ experience as a researcher, teacher, excavator, curator and project manager (Vianova Archaeology & Heritage Services). Areas of expertise include Roman coinage and the monetary economy, as well as the archaeology of Britannia and the north-western provinces. Peter has identified and published more than 30,000 Roman coins for commercial units, museums and universities, including numerous site-find assemblages as well as several important coin hoards. Previously Reader in Roman Archaeology at Cardiff University (2000-2019), Research Assistant at The British Museum (1996-1997) and Manager of the Roman Legionary Museum (National Museum Wales, 1994-1996).

Anna Tyacke
Anna has worked as a curator and PAS FLO for 30 years. She is currently a freelance finds specialist, at home identifying pottery, stone implements and flint alongside her main specialisms, metalwork and numismatics. Her current work is largely for the Cornwall Archaeological Unit processing and identifying finds from 16 sites associated with the A30 enlargement scheme. She will start PhD study on the Iron Age and Roman coins and metalwork of the South West at the University of Leicester in October 2023.

Ruth Beveridge
Ruth has been a professional archaeologist for over 30 years, beginning her career at the Museum of London as a field archaeologist in central London. Moving into post-excavation she worked with artefact assemblages on a range of sites across the country, with particular focus on East Anglia. Since 2008 Ruth has worked as a small finds specialist, reporting on a wide variety of assemblages for development-led archaeology. Ruth completed her PhD in petrographic analysis of Vietnamese pottery in 2000, following seven seasons of fieldwork in Vietnam, ranging from excavation to survey and museum-based studies. In addition, Ruth has considerable experience with archaeological archiving.

Mags Felter (Advisor)
Mags is an archaeological conservator working on all materials both freshly excavated and those in museums. She has a keen interest in bone and antler objects as well as metals, maritime archaeology and on-site conservation and lifting of fragile materials. She has attended excavations/heritage sites in Orkney, Turkey, Jordan, Azerbeijan and Turkmenistan, and those closer to home. Mags worked at York Archaeological Trust from 2005-2020 and recently took up an archaeological conservator post at the Museum of Cultural History, Oslo. She is an accredited member of the Institute of Conservation (ICON) and links the FSIG committee with the ICON Archaeology Group.

Specialist competence matrix

The specialist matrix is to assist applicants and the Validation committee to see where you demonstrate the grade applied for when working as a Finds specialist.

Forthcoming events

For information about upcoming events, please visit our event calendar.

Previous events

AGM event: “…more what you'd call guidelines than actual rules”. CIfA Archaeological Archives Group and Finds Group day conference and AGM. 28 September 2023, at Newark on Trent. Watch the presentations on playback here.**

Artefacts Roadshow Workshop and AGM | December 2022
At our first in-person meeting since the pandemic we discussed best practice in the first stages of finds analysis, from site to initial processing. You can access recordings of the meeting on the event page.

The Finds Group at 30: celebrating the past, reviewing the present, planning the future
The Finds Group celebrated its 30th Anniversary in 2019 and marked this by theming the AGM (September 2019 in Birmingham) around the past, present and future of archaeological finds work.

Three-year plan

Three-year plan 2022-2025


December 2023 newsletter
March 2023 newsletter

AGM minutes

AGM 2023 recording - watch on playback here.
AGM minutes 2023
AGM Minutes 2022
AGM Minutes 2021

Committee minutes

Committee minutes 20 June 2024
Committee minutes 22 April 2024
Committee minutes 28 February 2024
Committee minutes 15 November 2023
Committee minutes 7 June 2023
Committee minutes 1 March 2023
Committee minutes 4 February 2022