50 Medieval Finds from the Portable Antiquities Scheme highlights some of the most important and interesting archaeological objects of medieval date that have been found by the public over the last twenty years and recorded by the Portable Antiquities Scheme (PAS), or reported as Treasure. Here, `medieval' is taken to be the High Middle Ages, around 1050-1550, a period that witnessed massive change and transformation. Annually, about 20,000 medieval finds are recorded by the PAS, of which there are some 179,000 items on its database.
In this book, Dr Michael Lewis, Head of the Portable Antiquities Scheme, examines a range of medieval objects, from everyday dress accessories (such as strap-ends and finger-rings), to high status artefacts associated with the functioning of kings and queens (including a hawking ring associated with Edward V), and the Church (such as part of an elaborate altarpiece). These objects are not only remarkable in themselves, as objects of fine craftsmanship and beauty, but they also shed light on this remarkable period of history.
Michael Lewis is Head of Portable Antiquities & Treasure at the British Museum, with a specialist interest in the Middle Ages. He is best known for his work on the Bayeux Tapestry, and is a member of the Bayeux Tapestry Scientific Committee. Michael is also a Fellow of the Society of Antiquaries of London, a Member of the Chartered Institute for Archaeologists and a Liveryman of the Worshipful Company of Art Scholars.