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- PublicationApplying Statistics and Computer Science to the Study of Big Coin Finds: An Engineering Approach(EUT Edizioni Università di Trieste, 2019)Gianazza, LucaAny large amount of data raises processing and interpretation issues. Coin finds, particularly hoards made of several thousand pieces, are no exception. In front of a great number of specimens, a comprehensive study, conducted with methods usually applied to small finds, becomes a difficult target to achieve. Statistics, as well as Computer Science, can provide important analysis tools and solutions allowing the researchers to extract relevant information from finds data. This contribution will examine how Statistics and Computer Science can support the work of numismatists. It will present at an introductory level what is still available today and what could become affordable hopefully not too far in the future, going through the major pros and cons. It will be shown how large and articulated amounts of data – from denominations of coins to the mints of origin, from image descriptions to weights and diameters – can be managed and organized in a smart way along with coin images into a structured information system. The analysis will be carried out under an engineering perspective, always focusing on aspects such as application limits, implementation costs and the effort required in terms of human resources.
- Publication« Big is beautiful » ? Faut-il VRAIMENT étudier les « mégadépôts » monétaires ?(EUT Edizioni Università di Trieste, 2019)Doyen, Jean-MarcAre thorough studies of monetary ‘mega-hoards’ scientifically and economically profitable? After defining the differences between ‘large treasures’ and statistically ‘normal’ ones one may wonder what the study of these finds, a thing which is often cumbersome, actually brings to the world of numismatics. Their internal structures often differ little from that of smaller deposits. Moreover, they do not appear to bring any more interesting/ rarer-types than smaller finds, nor scattered individual coins from archaeological sites. Their interest lies elsewhere. Larger hoards can contribute to metrological studies, on the origin of the metals and the composition of the alloys used. One must ask the question on the identity (or identities) of the original owners and on the purpose for such an accumulation of coins. A hypothesis of ‘speculative manipulation’ of money can be put forward. Indeed, a mapping of the ‘mega-hoards’ of Late Antiquity clearly demonstrates that a trade of currencies existed by sea. Given the costs, both human and financial, of the studies of these large hoards and the future development of imaging and management of hoards on a large scale, it seems perhaps more appropriate to focus on specific issues; international cooperation within the framework of such hoards should be advanced in order to conserve a consistent approach to their study.
- PublicationLe Catillon II: conserving the world’s largest Iron Age hoard(EUT Edizioni Università di Trieste, 2019)
;Mahrer, Neil ;Kelly, GeorgiaLe Quelenec, VictoriaAbstractIn early 2012, two amateur metal detectorists in the British Channel Isle of Jersey discovered the Le Catillon II Iron Age hoard. This contained over sixty-nine thousand coins, eight complete gold torques and numerous other pieces of jewellery. The hoard appears to have been buried around 30-40BCE by the Coriosolitae tribe from the nearby French coast and is the largest Celtic hoard ever discovered. It was excavated intact and transferred to a conservation laboratory on the island. Here it was decided to disassemble the hoard and record its contents at a level of detail never attempted before. A computer controlled six axis metrology arm with a contact probe point head was used to record the position of every coin and other item to a sub centimetre accuracy before removal. A laser scanner was also used to record the entire hoard at various stages of disassembly. In this way, a complete three-dimensional virtual map of the hoard contents was created. Work is now being done to link this map to the object database so that it may be interrogated for distributions of different ages, types, makers of coins etc. 515 283
- PublicationCoin hoards and the Treasure process at the British Museum(EUT Edizioni Università di Trieste, 2019)Ghey, EleanorThe Department of Coins and Medals in the British Museum deals with a high volume of coin hoards of each year, some of which are very large (for example the Roman hoards from Frome, Somerset and Beau Street, Bath). The introduction of the Treasure Act (1996) and the success of the Portable Antiquities Scheme have played a part in the increasing volume of finds being reported and the development of an efficient system for administering this work. This paper outlines our approach to dealing with these finds, from discovery and conservation to cataloguing. It discusses how this approach has developed and the challenges and opportunities it presents. In particular, there has been progress in approaches to the retrieval and conservation of coin hoards, and in the successful acquisition of coin hoards by local museums.
- PublicationD’une perspective à l’autre. Le dépôt monétaire de ca 14500 nummi constantiniens découvert à Saint-Germain-de-Varreville (Manche, France)(EUT Edizioni Università di Trieste, 2019)
;Guihard, Pierre-MarieBlanchet, GuillaumeWe present here the challenges involved in the study of a 4th century hoard discovered in 2011 in Saint-Germain-de-Varreville (Manche, France). Exceptionally preserved and offering an abundance and an impressive interlacing of circa 14500 coins, the Saint-Germain-de-Varreville hoard appears as a completely original field of study to broaden the scope of numismatists. Our perspective is deliberately open, combining numismatics, archaeology, archaeometry and digital humanities, in order to progress in the writing of a history that would be as attentive to monetary production as to hoarding practices. 176 163
- PublicationEl Tesoro de "El Zaudín" (Tomares, Sevilla). Proyecto y realidad(EUT Edizioni Università di Trieste, 2019)
;Navarro Ortega, AnaChaves Tristán, FranciscaAbstractThe El Zaudín’s hoard (Tomares Sevilla) has been in recent years a topic of special interest for scholars, not only of ancient Numismatics, but also for those interested in the History of Roman times, the economy of late antiquity and the evolution of society at the time, without forgetting the possibilities that the use and characteristics of the monetary metal offers for the application of physical methods on coins. On the other hand, the discovery of such a considerable number of specimens as the case of “El Zaudín”, whose total we suppose to reach between 53,000 and 55,000 pieces, is presented as an interesting case to define the study of such voluminous treasures and raise both the possibilities of research to contain an abundance of material, and the problems caused in turn by the high number of coins. 233 316
- PublicationFrom reality to virtuality. A Database for the Cyrenaican specimens from numismatic trade(EUT Edizioni Università di Trieste, 2019)Cattaneo, AlessandroThe importance of auction sales catalogues in the study of any ancient coinage is unquestionable and they are of prime interest for numismatists in various ways (e.g., to gather a large body of material; to do an almost complete die-study; etc.). For all these reasons, since first catalogues started to appear frequently in the second half oh the XIX century, a complete examination would require the treatment of a considerable amount of data. With the CyReNe-Project (Cyrenaican Research Numismatic e-Project) we decided to face this task and to create a database where all the specimens minted in Cyrenaican cities and sold during the years could be collected together. The aim is to make available all these data in a structured and systematic way and, on the other hand, to safeguard this important cultural heritage. Starting from 2011, due to the numerous looting carried out against the archaeological and numismatic heritage in Libya, the presence of Cyrenaican coins on the market has increased enormously; reconstructing the pedigree of a coin is an useful tool to exclude a possible illicit origin. For these reasons we began to check past sales (more than 6000 auction catalogues and still counting) and their data will be implemented in the database. Incorrect identifications or attribution changes that have occurred throughout the history of the studies, are just some of the problems we are facing in undertaking such a project.
- PublicationLe gros trésor de divo claudio d’El Jem (Tunisie) : quelle exploitation scientifique, historique et muséographique ?(EUT Edizioni Università di Trieste, 2019)Ben Hadj Naceur-Loum, ZakiaOne of the rare big treasures of North Africa. The treasure of El Jem constitutes the second important deposit of quantitative point of view after Musurata (120.000), then comes in third place the treasure of Mangub B with a capacity of 20.313 currencies ranging from 296 to 311. Discovered in El Jem in 1973 in a terracotta jar with a flat bottom. It is one of those hoardings of the 3rd quarter of the 3rd century (reign of Valerian-reign of Probus) constituted exclusively of Antoniniani with a large proportion of the coins of consecration of Claude II (nearly 54%). In 2009 and after a trip to El Jem to do the expertise, the report was twofold: a large number of coins scattered between two museums: fraction I at the Museum of El Jem, fraction II at the National Museum of Bardo, a single researcher will take care of the inventory and study to know me; finally the absence of any implementation of a Collective Research Project lack of resources... The company looks very difficult but we have composed with the means to produce a general inventory of currencies. It was in the framework of the seminar "Troppo grown up for the studiati" that we presented the way in which we could count, inventory and the beginnings of the study of this treasure while emphasizing the realities political and economic aspects of a country like Tunisia which often determine the management of its heritage.
- PublicationReka Devnia (Bulgaria): the challenges of creating a digital dataset of 80,000 coins(EUT Edizioni Università di Trieste, 2019)Spoerri Butcher, MargueriteThe hoard of Reka Devnia (Bulgaria) was found in 1929 on the site of ancient Marcianopolis. It comprised more than a 100,000 coins, mainly denarii, with some antoniniani and a minority of provincial silver. Issues range from Republican denarii of Mark Antony (32/31 BC) to antoniniani of Trajan Decius (AD 251). 81,096 coins were transferred to two Bulgarian museums and subsequently published by the Bulgarian numismatist N. A. Mouchmov. A digital dataset, based on the publication of Mouchmov, has now been made available within the Coin Hoards of the Roman Empire project (http://chre.ashmus.ox.ac.uk/hoard/3406). It gives details of entries at type level, providing references to Cohen, used in the original publication, updated RIC references, and web links to online portals presenting standard typologies of republican, imperial or provincial coinages. This paper will look at the challenges of such an enterprise, from providing updated references for coin types solely known from the brief descriptions given by Mouchmov, to providing links to online portals such as OCRE.
- PublicationIl tesoro di Misurata (Libia). Un banco di prova per lo studio di rinvenimenti monetali di grandi dimensioni(EUT Edizioni Università di Trieste, 2019)Garraffo, SalvatoreAbstractThe coin treasure discovered in 1981 not far from the city of Misurata (Libia) is a major hoard of folles (108.000 bronze coins with silvered surface) minted between 294 and 333 AD. This paper deals with the research project of this treasure, devoted to study the coins in detail, with the support of a new informative system. Main goal of this system is to store and to handle both historical and material data of coins obtained by means of a set of portable analytical instruments.We discuss also provisional results of the research. Until now, we have been able to report all the series of the treasure, to catalogue with the informative system about 83.000 items, to detect many unpublished coins, and last but not least, to analyze a relevant number of coins belonging to each series, in order to trace the progress of the composition and to identify the manufacturing and minting techniques.The research model we follow, with a good cost/benefit balance, is suitable to other projects if sufficient economical resources and qualified personnel will be at disposal.
- PublicationThe Frome Hoard. How a massive find changes everything(EUT Edizioni Università di Trieste, 2019)Moorhead, SamThe Frome Hoard of 52,503 coins, discovered in 2010, is the second largest Roman coin hoard found in Britain. Not only is it of great numismatic significance, with over 850 pieces of Carausius (AD 286-93), but also it has had an enormous impact on broader archaeological and museological practices. The hoard was discovered by a metal detectorist, Dave Crisp, but he left the pot in the ground for professional excavation. This provided invaluable context for the hoard and enabled numismatists to determine that the hoard was buried in a single event. The sudden arrival of the coins at the British Museum was a catalyst for the Roman Coin and Metals Conservation sections at the British Museum to develop a new way of processing the 80 or so hoards which arrive annually. The apparent ritual significance of the hoard led to much academic and popular debate, resulting in a major Arts and Humanities Research Council research project between Leicester University and the British Museum. The worldwide publicity concerning the hoard enabled a major fund-raising campaign which secured the coins for the Museum of Somerset in Taunton. The high profile of the hoard also resulted in a British Museum video-conferencing activity for school children. Finally, the good practice of Dave Crisp, in calling for professional assistance, has resulted in numerous detectorists leaving hoards in the ground for archaeologists to excavate.
- PublicationThe Saint-Germain-lès-Arpajon hoard (Essonne, France): just another “big” radiate hoard?(EUT Edizioni Università di Trieste, 2019)
;Drost, Vincent ;Hollard, Dominique ;Moret-Auger, Florence ;Pilon, Fabien ;Piozzoli, Christian ;Pissot, VéroniqueTrommenschlager, LudovicThe Saint-Germain-lès-Arpajon hoard, found in 2008 near Paris, is among the biggest Roman coin hoards. The two jars, successively found by workers and by archaeologists, contained nearly 34,000 copper alloy coins of the second half of the 3rd century AD. Although exceptional in size, the hoard belongs to a most common category of coin hoards. As its complete study is drawing to an end, this paper aims at discussing the methodology used and the challenges faced to complete such a long-term task. Is it really worth the effort, as several very big hoards of this kind have already been published? Every coin hoard has its interesting features and the Saint-Germain-lès-Arpajon is unique, as shown by its internal structure. Therefore, it deserves to be thoroughly studied and compared to other treasures for a better understanding of hoarding practices and coin circulation patterns. 128 200
- PublicationThousands of Tetrarchy folles all over the world: an hypothesis of re-composition(EUT Edizioni Università di Trieste, 2019)
;Favretto, AndreaCallegher, BrunoThe Čentur’s hoard is well known in the numismatic literature as a result of a long series of finds that have been carried out over more than 20 years, all in the same site. Recently, some researchers have hypothesized that the discovery was unique, happened in the same period, but disclosed over the years mainly for reasons related to the geopolitical situation along the border between Italy and Yugoslavia. With the aim of trying to re-establish the missing part, a free-access database was planned to collect all the reliable and verified information. Some preliminary examples of this project suggest promising results. 206 298
- PublicationToo Big to Study? Troppo grandi da studiare?(EUT Edizioni Università di Trieste, 2019)Callegher, BrunoEnormous coin hoards have always been discovered, and very large quantities of coins are also found in archaeological excavations carried out in urban areas. All these great amounts of coins can be dated either to a restricted period or distributed along many centuries. However, these findings put the researchers in front of complicated issues mainly concerning the methodology of their study, which necessarily conditions the results of the numismatic research. Great coin numbers, different methods, exemplary projects, therefore, have merged during the congress: “Big is beautiful?”, with the consequent question: “Faut-il vraiment étudier les ‘mégadépôts’ monetaires?”. This is exactly the crucial question that marked the three days of discussion, and this is reflected in these Proceedings.
- PublicationToo big to study? The numismatic collection in the National Museum of Aquileia(EUT Edizioni Università di Trieste, 2019)Stella, AndreaThis contribution try to provide for the first time an extensive historical survey of the coin cabinet of the National Museum in Aquileia. Details are given about how and when this collection was formed and the features of its different sections are examined as well. Thanks to the inventory lists, is possible to know that by the end of the First World War more than 60,000 coins were already part of the collection. Since the entire assemblage of the 20th century still needs a detailed survey, the real amount remains undetermined but a total number of 80,000 specimens, or more, is to be expected. For this reason, after Rome itself, Aquileia features the greatest archaeological numismatic collection in Italy and one of the more prominent in the entire Mediterranean area. Since the collection is up to day largely uninvestigated, a methodological approach is proposed as well to deal with such a large amount of data to be recorded. This work has to be undertaken in the future in order to provide a unique set of data concerning coin finds and to convey to the large public, in the best way, one the most important collections held in the National Museum of Aquileia.
- PublicationTracce della tesaurizzazione monetaria d’età antica nell’esposizione archeologica al Castello Rosso di Tripoli (Libia)(EUT Edizioni Università di Trieste, 2019)Asolati, MicheleThe article focuses on the numismatic exhibition at the Museum of the Red Castle in Tripoli, which has about 2000 specimens. It was possible to record in detail the ancient part of this exhibition in 2009, before the “Arab Spring”. The exhibition certainly includes at least two hoards of sestertii from the II-III century AD and another treasure of nummi from the end of the V century; most of the remaining coins almost certainly come from other Punic and Roman imperial hoards, of which there are possible traces in literature. The study of this material, in addition to recording the charateristics of coin hoarding in Tripolitania between the third century BC and the fifth century AD, literally describes a heritage whose fate is currently unknown.
- PublicationUn trésor considérable et perdu : le trésor d’Alexandres de Gaza(EUT Edizioni Università di Trieste, 2019)
;Bauzou, ThomasThevenin, GaëlleIn June 2013 was discovered the first part of a big hoard in Gaza, composed of hundreds of Alexander tetradrachmas, spread over the sand offshore. Some of these coins were bought by a private collector, who gave us the opportunity to examine a few of them the same year. The second part of this hoard was extracted from the sea in 2017, and divided between different families in Gaza. The total quantity of coins rises about 5000 to 8000 coins, including decadrachmas, most of them sent to international antique dealers, without any chance to recover. Since April, some of these coins appeared on antique dealers’ website, while in the same time, the customs of Israël caught a Palestinian from Gaza with some of these coins. These events show that the hoard is going to disappear from the scientific view, without having been studied or even noticed. Questions are numerous about this hoard: how reliable are the informations that were given about this hoard? How to study such a hoard, knowing most of the coins are now send abroad and so, lost for science? In the same time, is that reasonable to voluntarily forget this discovery, in a part of the world where these informations are both rare and crucial? This hoard bring together several difficulties: the large number of coins, the scattering and the sale of the tetradrachmas abroad, the difficulty to access the territory, and finally the documentary watch online, the only way to recover the informations of a small part of the coins. Some of them have been noticed, allowing us to elaborate a date of loss, and a sample of the mint that stroke some of the coins. 177 208
- PublicationWhen quantification makes a difference: a preliminary attempt to arrange early victoriati by extensive die studies(EUT Edizioni Università di Trieste, 2019)
;Debernardi, PierluigiLippi, RobertoIn this paper we present the results of ten years of die studies on the Roman silver coinage of the Second Punic War. For the first time a correspondence between coinage production and War costs is attempted. A special focus is placed on the victoriatus. In fact the preliminary results of the ongoing Victoriatus Project point to a much larger size of this denomination than believed so far. This has a direct impact also on the way this coinage has to be regarded and its role during the War, which will be discussed with some detail in the paper. 211 398