Source code for the Portable Antiquities Scheme website and database
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The Portable Antiquities Scheme's Database source code

DOI License: GPL v3

Scheme logo

A repository for the current generation of the Portable Antiquities Scheme Website. A British Museum project that encourages the voluntary recording of archaeological artefacts found by the public in England and Wales. A working version of this software can be seen at or at and comprehensive instructions about how to install a copy can be found in the wiki.


The database is written with a Linux operating system in mind.

Operating system requirements:

  • Recommended Ubuntu 16.04 or other LTS
  • PHP 5.4+
  • Solr 4.2
  • MySQL 5.7
  • APC Cache or equivalent
  • Curl
  • ImageMagick
  • GD
  • PDO

PHP libraries

Most of the PHP libaries are included as submodules, which will be pulled on deployment via Git on your server.

  • Zend Framework 1.12.21dev
  • Solarium 2
  • ZendX_JQuery
  • HTMLPurifier
  • EasyBib
  • mpdf
  • imagecow

Geographical boundaries

The system also makes use of converted OS boundary data in geoJSON format (also included as a submodule.) These are also maintained in a Github repository.

Search index

You will also need to install and configure SOLR for the system to be fully functioning. The schemas for this are located in our SOLR repo.

Virtual host configuration

A set of example virtual host configuration files for Apache 2.4 are available.


It is recommended that the system is configured to use https and the free service offered by Letsencrypt is ideal.


We welcome code contributions to make this system better. Please refer to our contributing guidelines before submitting patches or new features.


A change log is now maintained by the project developers to try and explain how things are being improved.

Development team

The Scheme is also grateful for the contributions of Richard Wareham (Cambridge University) and Ethan Gruber (ANS). Full acknowledgements are recorded within this repo.


The codebase is released under GPL V3.

Funded by