Finds Group


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 need to pay an annual £10 fee


Social Media

Twitter -


Louise Rayner (Chair)
Rowena Hart (Treasurer)
Mags Felter (Secretary)

Kayt Hawkins (Ordinary Committee Member)
Marie-Claire Rackham-Mann (Ordinary Committee Member)
Dr Ruth Pelling (Ordinary Committee Member)
Alex Beeby (Ordinary Committee Member)
Nicky Rogers (Ordinary Committee Member)
Stephen Brunning (Newsletter Editor)

Committee Biographies

Louise Rayner BA, MSc, MCIFA, FSA
I have been a finds archaeologist for the last 25 years developing a career in pottery research predominately of the prehistoric and Roman periods in London and South-East England. I have been in post-excavation management for over 15 years and currently head up the post-excavation and specialist services team at Archaeology South-East (UCL Institute of Archaeology), where I manage a team of 25+ specialist staff and am responsible for all post-excavation reporting, research, publication, archiving and outreach. I have been on the CIfA Finds SIG committee as Treasurer for the past four years and in previous years served as Secretary and Treasurer of the Study Group for Roman Pottery. I was on the project board for the HE funded 7090 Standards in Finds Reporting Survey. I am interested in capacity building and training within the areas of post-excavation and specialist research, as well as initiatives looking to improve standards and guidance across the sector.

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).

Kayt Hawkins 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.

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.

Nicky Rogers
After graduating with a combined Archaeology and History degree from Southampton University, I
came to work as an artefact researcher at York Archaeological Trust in 1988, specializing in
assessing, cataloguing, researching and publishing small finds of all materials found in excavations in
the city; although my main areas of expertise cover the post Roman to late medieval periods, I have
also worked on finds from Roman right through to the post medieval period. Since 2015, I have been
self-employed, and have worked on a range of projects in both York, and elsewhere in England. I
have been involved in training both archaeology students and interested members of the public in
artefact study for 15 years, and I am currently an associate of the Department of Archaeology at
York University, where I teach a module on artefacts from excavations to Masters students.

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

We will be holding our AGM on 25 September 2019 at the Birmingham Midland Institute at 13.40-14:00. All are welcome. Please see the AGM Agenda

Elections to the executive committee will be held at the AGM for the following position: Ordinary committee members

Please complete and return the nomination form. Nominations are open to CIfA members who are also members of the Finds Special Interest Group.

Candidates wishing to stand for election should submit their completed nomination form by 16 September 2019 by email to kerry.wiggins [at] or by post to Chartered Institute for Archaeologists, Power Steele Building, Wessex Hall, Whiteknights Road, Earley, Reading, RG6 6DE. Voting will be by show of hands of those present at the AGM or online if positions are contested.

The Finds Group celebrates its 30th Anniversary this year and we are marking this by theming our AGM (25 September 2019 at the Birmingham and Midland Institute) around the past, present and future of archaeological finds work. The event runs from 10.00-16.00

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

Previous events

Interpreting Finds: Ecofacts and Artefacts
Event hosted by CIfA Finds Group and including the Finds Group AGM 26th September 2018

This one-day event presented recent and innovative approaches to the study of artefacts and ecofacts, highlighting their potential for contributing to an archaeological project. Exploring themes around multi-disciplinary approaches to interpreting artefact and ecofact assemblages and encouraging dialogue between different branches of the profession and considering ‘Finds’ in the broadest sense. Through the theme ‘Ecofacts to Artefacts’, exploring 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 included:

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

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

Business Plan

Business plan 2016 - 2019

AGM Minutes

September 2018
May 2017
December 2013

Committee Minutes

FSIG Minutes 16 January 2019
FSIG Minutes 19 Sept 2018
FSIG Minutes 18 Jan 2018
FSIG minutes 28 Sept 2017
FSIG minutes 17 Jan 2017


Spring 2016
Autumn 2013
Spring 2013

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

0118 966 2841
admin [at]