ECFN

The European Coin Find Network 

Roger Bland leaves the British Museum

It is with some concern that we learn that, as of the end of July, Roger Bland is resigning from his post as head of the Department of Britain, Europe and Prehistory at the British Museum. Roger was instrumental in drafting the new Treasure Act in the 1990s, and subsequently in establishing and running the enormously successful Portable Antiquities Scheme.

Roger Bland

The Scheme’s database now hosts information on over 1 million objects found and reported by the public during last 16 years, over 100,000 of them in 2014 alone. The internationally acclaimed system not only has massive public outreach, but also represents a unique research resource from which the numismatic community profits greatly; nearly half of the records on the database are of coin finds. The Portable Antiquities Scheme itself is now to be moved from the Department of Britain, Europe and Prehistory to the Department of Learning, Volunteers and Audiences. Dan Pett, who created the award-winnign database and website, is being transferred to the new Digital and Publishing Department.

It is to be hoped that the spending cuts which now threaten do not significantly hamper the Scheme, and that Dan Pett will still be able to continue providing his own, very important work to the international digital numismatic community. More background can be found in an article in British Archaeology issue 143/August 2015 (http://www.britisharchaeology.org/current).