Friday 31 July 2015

Roger Bland Leaves BM

The Russell Square HQ of PAS
Today is Roger Bland's last day at the British Museum, where he has worked more than 35 years. He was appointed a curator in the Department of Coins and Medals in 1979 but was seconded to the Department for Culture, Media and Sport from 1994 to 2003 in connection with his work on the Treasure Act and Portable Antiquities. Roger became responsible for thePortable Antiquities Scheme (a project to record all archaeological objects found by the public in England and Wales), which he had been to a large degree instrumental in setting up. In addition, he was responsible for the Museum’s operation of the Treasure Act. In July 2012 he was appointed Keeper of the Department of Prehistory and Europe (now Britain, Europe and Prehistory, succeeding in that post Jonathan Williams (who had himself been curator of Iron Age and Roman coins at the Museum who went on 'to coordinate the Museum’s international strategy'). Williams became the Museum's Deputy Director ('with overall responsibility for the Museum’s collection and research') and it is he whose reorganization led to the dissolution of the Department of Portable Antiquities and Treasure in May this year and Bland's resignation.

Roger Bland is currently still listed on the BM website as keeper, while on the PAS website his position as Head of Scheme and Treasure  has long been occupied by Michael Lewis.

The fate of the Leverhulme Trust funded project 'ThePortable Antiquities Scheme Database as a tool for archaeological research' in which he was principal investigator remains unknown. It was due to finish this year.

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