Objects dropped by our ancestors can tell us a lot about the past and the landscape in which they were lost or deposited. Many finds, notably those made by metal-detector users, have been recorded throughout Surrey since 2003 by the Portable Antiquities Scheme, which is based at the British Museum.
The present county of Surrey covers bands of different geological strata, such as clay and chalk, and sand and gravel. These have influenced the activities of past peoples, and where they lived and worked - and also where they mostly avoided. By looking at objects discovered in Surrey, and by recording where they were found, we can understand these activities better and begin to see ancient peoples as they moved through landscapes familiar to us today.
Surrey has revealed its past to us through finds of flint implements; through axes, hoards and ingots from the Bronze Age; through Iron Age and Roman coins and figurines, and through items lost in other historical periods, such as buckles and brooches, seals and rings, weights and harness attachments. Using recent discoveries of archaeological objects, 50 Finds from Surrey allows us to glimpse into a hidden past that is all around us.
David Wynn Williams has been closely involved with Surrey's archaeology since the early '70s and has excavated extensively in the county. He is also well known as an illustrator and has worked for several archaeological units. David has been the Finds Liaison Officer for Surrey since 2003 and is a Fellow of the Society of Antiquaries.