Finds Group

Artefacts, Conservation, Ecofacts


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. Finds Group 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.
Twitter: follow @CIfAFinds on our Twitter
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Imogen Wood (Treasurer)
Mags Felter (Secretary)
Emily Johnston
Peter Guest
Nicky Rogers
Helen Wickstead
Bekky Hillman

Please note this group is open to coopt a new Chair. If you are interest in tis opportunity, please have a read of the role description below and send a message to Meg, Megan.Keates [at]
* Chair role description (PDF)

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).

Dr Imogen Wood
I am 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. The development of my career from field archaeologist through doctoral research onto running my own business has enabled me to pursue my own research interests into the early medieval period in Cornwall through excavation and new sociocultural approaches to interpreting the results of petrographic analysis. I am passionate about disseminating archaeology and have taught part-time at Exeter University over the past 10 years; I have also worked with primary schools and I have been involved with numerous community projects.

Dr Ruth Pelling
Ruth is a Senior Archaeobotanist within Historic England’s Excavation and Analysis Team and is 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.

Peter Guest
I am an archaeologist and numismatist with over 25 years’ experience as a teacher, researcher, excavator and curator. Recently retired as Reader in Roman Archaeology after 19 years at Cardiff University, I have also worked for The British Museum and the National Museum of Wales, and I am also a co-founder of Barbican Research Associates. My areas of expertise cover the Roman Empire, particularly Britannia and the northwestern provinces, the Roman army and frontiers, as well as Roman coinage and currency. I am an active field archaeologist and have directed excavations at Caerleon and Cirencester, and am currently involved in a multi-partner project at Water Newton. Although Roman coins are my main area of finds expertise – site-finds and hoards - I am interested in all types of archaeologically-recovered finds (bulk and ‘small’) and what these can tell us.

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

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

Forthcoming events

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

Previous events

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 (25 September 2019 at the Birmingham and Midland Institute) around the past, present and future of archaeological finds work.

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

  • 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

Three-year plan

2019 to 2022 Finds Group Three year plan (PDF)

AGM minutes

November 2020
September 2019
September 2018

Committee minutes

FSIG Minutes 16 October 2019
FSIG Minutes 16 January 2019
FSIG Minutes 19 Sept 2018
FSIG Minutes 18 Jan 2018