Found Something?

How submitting your archaeological finds may help archaeologists

Introduction, Overview, and Find Submission

Have you found something that you think might be an archaeological artifact? You are welcome to reach out to The Maine Archaeological Society (TMAS) by completing the Archaeological Find Form below.

What to do if you found a possible a artifact(s)?

  1. Take multiple clean digital photos (side and overhead shots) of your object with a scale (a pocket-knife or quarter will work)
  2. Best information you have of the object(s) location (Lat/Long which can be found using Google Earth) and the circumstance (eroding out of a bank, on a beach, etc.) in which it was found.
  3. Complete the Archaeological Find Form with notes and images.

Example of notation:

  • Latitude: 43°38’28.44″N Longitude: 70°13’31.00″W eroding out of a bank
  • The artifact was found in Simanton Cove, South Portland, Maine on the southeast corner of the beach. Artifact was eroding out of the southeast bank of the beach, approximately 20 feet northeast from the descending staircase.

Why do we need this info and what can you expect:

While it is illegal to disturb archaeological sites without clear permission, artifacts are sometimes found on beaches and riverbanks or in tree throws and plowed fields. These objects, if properly preserved and marked, can sometimes close gaps in the archaeological record and by aiding in research. When properly reported, these artifacts can help professionals locate new archaeological sites, learn new information about existing ones, or expand our knowledge and understanding of cultural behaviors and adaptation. This is possible through public engagement, proper documentation, and submission.

Archaeological Find Form

Please note that response times may vary as we consult professional archaeologists to aid in the identification of potential artifacts. If we determine that you have found an artifact (congratulations!) it is up to you how that artifact(s) is handled in the future. You may choose to keep it, or donate it to your choice of institution for future research (i.e., museum, local historical society, university). If you wish to donate your artifact(s), we are happy to assist or guide you in this process.

Public service announcement

* Unauthorized excavation of any public archaeological site should be reported to the local authorities. *
Federal law prohibits digging on Federal property without a permit. Information concerning the disturbance of a site on public land (Federal or state) or a site listed on the National Register of Historic Places, should be reported to the Maine Historic Preservation Commission or Federal authorities.


Contact Information

The Maine Archaeological Society

P.O. Box 982

Augusta, Maine 04332-0982

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