Found Something?

How submitting your archaeological finds may help archaeologist

Have you found something that you think might be archaeological? You are welcome to reach out to The Maine Archaeological Society (TMAS) at

Please note that since in many cases we will consult busy professional archaeologists, replies may be slow in coming. Also, please consider whether you are willing to donate your potential find(s) to a museum or other institution where it could be studied and shared with the public if it turns out to be an archaeological artifact.

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 pocketknife or quarter will work)
  2. Best information you have of th object(s) location (Lat/Long which can be found using Google Earth) of and circumstance (eroding out of a bank, on a beach, etc.) in which it was found.
  3. Email the potential artifact’s notes and images to the following address:

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.

Excerpt telling of the importance of dating, indicating location, and interacting with archaeologists:

History enthusiasts do not need to poke around in shell heaps to find items that help advance archaeological knowledge as artifacts often wash onto a beach after a storm, especially at sites hard hit by wave and wind erosion. Those objects, if properly preserved and marked, can sometimes close gaps in the archaeological record and by aiding in research.

When well preserved and properly labeled artifacts were brought to the University of Maine, a graduate student used them to “cover a whole earlier period that had been washed away.” The results were later published and would have a strong impact on the archaeological and scientific community “because it revealed information about how the coastline has been eroding” overtime. This was possible through public engagement, proper documentation, and submission.

Work Cited

DuBrule, Deborah

          1996 Disappearing History. Inter-Island News December: page 9, 15.  

Public service announcement

* Unauthorized excavation of any public archaeological site should be reported to the local authorities. *
Federal law prohibits digging on or near burial grounds and information concerning the disturbance of a federal site (public land), or a site listed on the National Register of Historic Places, should be reported to the Historic Preservation Commission or federal authorities.



The Maine Archaeological Society

P.O. Box 982

Augusta, Maine 04332-0982

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