This is the “Staffordshire Pan”, a copper alloy “patera” which is decorated with enameled scrollwork. It was found in 2003, and reported to the Portable Antiquities Scheme, and later acquired by the British Museum, Tullie House, and the Potteries Museum. You can read more about the patera at the PAS website. For those interested in the PAS, I highly recommend their blog.

Below is an interview conducted by Chris Vallance of Radio 4 with Roger Bland, the Director of the PAS, and Roy Clare of the Museums, Libraries and Archives Council which currently oversees the program. The object Bland discusses is none other than this very patera. The PAS has received a great deal of attention of late, because it is in jeopardy of funding cuts, as the MLA is itself absorbing a 25% budget decrease this year. The PAS is a remarkably successful program, and as Bland notes in the interview below, utterly unique.

On a related note, there will likely be light posting this week as I will be headed to sunny Los Angeles to discuss some of the policy implications of the PAS. Though it is a remarkable program, and very successful, I’m not sure it is necessarily a solution to looting of antiquities in all source nations, especially in the developing world. I hope to post some more detailed thoughts on that when I return early next week.

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4 thoughts on “The PAS”

  1. You can read the finds report from the local FLO for the patera (now described as a trulla) on the database at
    When I first saw this, we thought it was a highly decorated ash tray! A high res image can be seen at
    Funding has been frozen at £1.3 million which means that with inflationary increases we cannot sustain all posts at the Scheme. Therefore, in essence the funding is a cut.
    A transcript of the oral questions posed to Margaret Hodge can be linked to from our blog and there is also a link to the parliamentary footage.

  2. Hey, I just stumbled across your blog and I think you are doing some great things. If you ever need any help on Alaska Native cultural property questions let me know. Thanks.
    Zach Jones
    SHI Archivist
    Juneau, AK

  3. There have been schemes similar to this for the recording of “fluted” projectile points and other artifacts from the first Native Americans. Those are items which private collectors often for which the distribution can provide significant information to professional archaeologists.

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