31. Technical aspects, coin production

Index:

Blet-Lemarquand, Maryse

Title:

Les analyses élémentaires de monnaies de bronze grecques réalisées au Centre Ernest-Babelon de l’IRAMAT : méthode, résultats, synthèse / Maryse Blet-Lemarquand

Source:

Aux origines de la monnaie fiduciaire : traditions métallurgiques et innovations nusmimatiques : actes de l'atelier international des 16 et 17 novembres 2012 à Tours / textes réunis par Catherine Grandjean et Aliki Moustaka. - Bordeaux : Ausonius ; Paris : De Boccard, 2013. - (Scripta antiqua ; 55). - P. 39-55

 

Index:

Caley, Earle Radcliffe 1900-1984

Title:

Chemical dating of bronze coin blanks from the Athenian Agora / Earle R. Caley and Wallace H. Deebel

Source:

The Ohio Journal of Science 55 (1955) 1 (January) p. 44-46

 

Index:

Callataÿ, François Philippe Edouard Léon de 1961-

Title:

La dimension des coins monétaires de tétradrachmes hellénistiques d’après l’étude des monnaies décentrées / François de Callataÿ

Source:

XII. Internationaler Numismatischer Kongress Berlin 1997 : Akten = proceedings = actes. I / hrsg. von Bernd Kluge und Bernhard Weisser. -  Berlin : Staatliche Museen zu Berlin, 2000. - P. 244-251

Abstract:

Ancient Greek dies are lost but we can often restitute the size of the reverses through the study of off-center coins. This paper focuses on the coins of Alexander the Great, Athens, and the mid-second century coinages with a laurel wreath. The general trend is to the increase of diameters of the reverses through the 3rd and 2nd c. BC, up to a maximal size around ca. 150 BC.

 

Index:

Callataÿ, François Philippe Edouard Léon de 1961-

Title:

Etude de technique monétaire : le rapport 'nombre de coins de revers/nombre de coins de droit' à l'époque hellénistique / François de Callataÿ

Source:

Revue des Archéologues et Historiens de l'Art de Louvain 32 (1999) p. 91-102

Abstract:

This technical paper aims to explain the relation we may observe between the ratio "r/o" ("number of reverse dies/number of obverse dies") in the Hellenistic period. Beyond the simple fact that, as a general rule, there are more reverses than obverses (which is easy to explain for technical reasons), there is a strong tendency which links the ratio "r/o" with the weight of the coinage (the data of c. 150 different coinages have been considered). For silver tetradrachms, ratio "r/o" superior to 4 are common, while this is not the case for drachms  and even less for smaller denominations. The same is true for gold and bronze issues. The number of hammerstrikes is likely to explain this general pattern (one for small denominations, several for larger ones).

 

Index:

Callataÿ, François Philippe Edouard Léon de 1961-

Title:

Un 'octobole' de Pyrrhus surfrappé sur un statère de type corinthien : réflexions sur les masses monnayées par Pyrrhus en or et en argent / [François de Callataÿ]

Source:

Annali dell'Istituto Italiano di Numismatica 47 (2000) p. 189-213, pl. 12-15

Abstract:

The acquisition by the Royal Library of Belgium of an astonishinlgy heavy "octobol" of Pyrrhus (7.83g instead of 5.5-5.7g) struck at Syracuse in 278-276 BC but overstruck on a Corinthian stater from Anactorion in the second hal of the 4th c. BC provides the opportunity to give a die-study for these silver issue (19 obverses and 34 reverses for 61 specimens). In the light of this overstike, we may wonder if these so-called "octobols" were not estimated at a higher value. Among the peculiarities of this coinage is the fact to find many control marks on the obverse. In addition, a (rather preliminary) die-study is provided for the tetradrachms ("Head of Zeus r./ Enthroned Dione seated l." - 5 obverses, 12 reverses for 33 coins) and the didrachms ("Head of Achilles l./Thetis seated r. on a seahorse" - 2 obverses, 3 reverses for 12 coins) which are both supposed to have been struck at Lokri Epizephyri. For all these silver issues ("octobols", tetradrachms and didrachms) as well as for the staters and hemistaters struck at Syracuse, an estimate of the original number of obverses is provided and the results are put into perspective (enough to pay in fresh coins c. 20,000 soldiers for one year). In this particular case, the issued coinage by Pyrrhus at Syracuse seems to have been approximately correlated with his military expenditures (c. 10,000 soldiers during two years - 278-276 BC).

 

Index:

Carroccio, Benedetto 1964-

Title:

Parallel striking reconstruction and chronological numismatic interpretation / Benedetto Carroccio

Source:

Quantifying monetary supplies in Graeco-Roman times / François de Callataÿ (éd.). - Bari : Edipuglia, 2011. – P. 81-103

 

Index:

Chaves Tristán, Francisca

Title:

Análisis metalográficos de monedas procedentes de cecas púnicas del sur de la Península Ibérica y del norte de Africa / Francisca Chaves Tristán ... [et al.]

Source:

Revue Belge de Numismatique 145 (1999) p. 199-214

 

Index:

Faucher, Thomas

Title:

À la recherche des ateliers monétaires grecs : l’apport de l’expérimentation / Thomas Faucher ... [et al.]

Source:

Revue Numismatique 165 (2009) p. 43-80

Abstract:

Experiments on Greek minting techniques are not a new deal: D. G. Sellwood, in the fifties, carried out a series of practical experiments which still represent a reference work. Our global approach focuses on the different aspects of the chain of operations from the metal through the minting of coins. 17871 coins were struck during our two sessions, giving some new results on the melting of blanks or on the wear of dies. The incapacity of our team to produce blanks of a regular weight for example, ventures new hypotheses on the Greek minting process. The main aim of these experiments was to produce a maximum of coins in order to study the dies wear due to striking. It emerges that the production of an obverse die could be different depending on blank size, team experience and metal used. Nevertheless, the results should set its production range between 10000 and 15000 coins. Further experimentations would give us new data and the possibility to sharpen our estimations.

 

Index:

Flament, Christophe

Title:

L’argent des chouettes : bilan de l’application des méthodes de laboratoire au monnayage athénien tirant parti de nouvelles analyses réalisées au moyen de la méthode PIXE / Christophe Flament

Source:

Revue Belge de Numismatique 153 (2007) p. 9-30

Abstract:

This article proposes a critical and nuanced assessment of the physical and chemical analyses performed on the Athenian «owls» coinage.  After having discussed the use and the contribution of such analyses in the study of this famous Classical coinage, the author delivers the results of new PIXE analyses performed in the LARN (Namur, Belgium) and applied to coins bearing the Athenian types of the second half of the Vth c. B.C. and he tries to exploit those results in the technological field by applying a statistical test.

 

Index:

Giovannelli, Giuseppe

Title:

Microstructural characterization of early western Greek incuse coins / G. Giovannelli ... [et al.]

Source:

Archaeometry 47 (2050 4 p. 817-833

Abstract:

In this research, we studied the compositional, crystallographic and microstructural properties of a series of incuse silver didrachmae stemming from the Achaean colonies of Metapontum and Caulonia. In this paper, we address the following points: (i) the metal sources, (ii) the fabrication process and (iii) degradation phenomena, such as incrustation and embrittlement. In this investigation, we employed energy-dispersive X-ray fluorescence spectroscopy, X-ray diffractometry, and scanning electron and optical microscopies. The patina is mainly composed of chlorargirite. The coins consist of a silver-rich alloy containing 1% of Au and Cu. Metallographic and local compositional analyses revealed a complex scenario of inclusions. In one instance, unalloyed copper grains, two-phase copper/bismuth globuli and high-bismuth filaments were observed. In other cases, globular Cu2S (chalcocite) inclusions were noticed. The presence of SiO2 and iron oxide inclusions is ubiquitous in these samples. Distorted twin lines and strain lines can be detected, denoting work-hardening of recrystallized flans. Grain polygonalization can occasionally be noticed, hinting at secondary recrystallization processes. The irregularly shaped iron oxide particles often act as crack initiation sites. Fracture facets are generally intergranular. On some areas, intergranular decohesion is also observed. Open cracks sometimes contain AgCl. The strain lines that can be noticed on the fracture surfaces indicate work-hardening and residual microstructural deformation. Information regarding inclusions and the presence of significant amounts of gold can be tentatively used to address provenancing and fabrication issues.

 

Index:

Gitler, Haim 1962-

Title:

Athenian tetradrachms from Tel Mikhal (Israel) : a metallurgical perspective / Haim Gitler, Matthew Ponting and Oren Tal

Source:

American Journal of Numismatics 2nd ser. 21 (2009) p. 29-49

Abstract:

This paper uses the analytical results from inductively-coupled plasma atomic emission spectrometry (ICP-AES) and lead isotope analysis (Q-ICP-MS) of a group of Athenian-style tetradrachms found in the excavations of Tel Michal to investigate their origins. The majority of these coins are thought to be Eastern imitations based on style, but the analysis suggests that all these coins may actually be authentic Athenian issues. This is because they were clearly produced from bullion that came from the silver mines of Laurion in Attica. Given the stylistic variability of the Athenian tetradrachms from Tel Michal, we can assume that they are representative of the ‘owls’ that were circulated in Achaemenid Palestine. Therefore, although it would be premature to argue that the term Eastern imitation is an erroneous scholarly convention, this paper demonstrates that it is a clear possibility.

 

Index:

Head, Barclay Vincent 1844-1914

Title:

Electrum coins and their specific gravity / [Barclay V. Head]

Source:

Numismatic Chronicle 3rd ser. 7 (1887) p. 277-308, pls. 10-11

 

Index:

Healy, John F.

Title:

Greek refining techniques and the composition of gold-silver alloys / John F. Healy

Source:

Revue Belge de Numismatique 120 (1974) p. 19-33

 

Index:

Keyser, Paul T.

Title:

Analysing and interpreting the metallurgy of early electrum coins / Paul T. Keyser and David D. Clark

Published:

New York : American Numismatic Society, 2001

Note:

Offprint from: Hacksilber to coinage : new insights into the monetary history of the Near East and Greece / ed. by Miriam S. Balmuth. - New York : American Numismatic Society, 2001. - (Numismatic studies ; no. 24). – P. 105-126

 

Index:

Keyser, Paul T.

Title:

Greco-Roman alchemy and coins of imitation silver / Paul T. Keyser

Source:

American Journal of Numismatics 2nd ser. 7-8 (1995-1996) p. 209-234, pl. 28-32

 

Index:

Michaux-Van der Mersch, Françoise

Title:

Évolution de la technique de frappe des statères éginétiques / Françoise Michaux-Van der Mersch, François Delamare 

Source:

Revue Belge de Numismatique 133 (1987) p. 5-38, pls. 1-7

 

Index:

Notis, Michael

Title:

Chemical composition of the Isfiya and Qumran coin hoards / Michael Notis ... [et al.]

Source:

Archaeological chemistry : analytical techniques and archaeological interpretation / Michael D. Glascock, ed., Robert J. Speakman, ed., Rachel S. Popelka-Filcoff, ed. - Washington : American Chemical Society, cop. 2007. - P. 258-274

Abstract:

The Isfiya and Qumran coin hoards are the largest hoards of Tyrian shekels (tetradrachms) and half-shekels (didrachms) found to date. They represent a very significant source of information concerning the important mint in Tyre and the production technology of silver coinage. However, analysis of coins in large numbers has, until now, been difficult because of accessibility to collections and traditional destructive sampling problems. The ability to perform analysis on large numbers of ancient objects represents a significant change in the way that we are able to view and interpret the meaning and relevance of the scientific results. Two analytical techniques were used to overcome this problem: a new non-destructive analysis method using a handheld X-ray fluorescence (XRF) unit enabled the study of a total of over 700 coins from both hoards (and thus, obtain analytical statistics on an unusually large number of coins); and electron probe micro-analysis (EPMA) was performed on four coins to compare and to confirm the accuracy of the XRF measurements. Based on the results of analysis, it was found that while the coins all show relatively constant high silver levels during the years before and after 44-15 B.C.E., the silver content is erratic and drops significantly for a period of time during these dates. The results are interpreted in the context of social and economic conditions in Tyre and nearby Judea and Syria during that time period. In particular, it appears that interactions between Herod and Augustus may be reflected in the variation of the silver content of the coins.

 

Index:

Pászthory, Emmerich

Title:

Archäometrische Untersuchungen an archaischen Münzen Athens / Emmerich Pászthory

Source:

Schweizer Münzblätter 126 (Mai 1982) p. 30-36

 

Index:

Pászthory, Emmerich

Title:

Metallurgische Untersuchungen an archaischen Münzen aus Athen / Emmerich Pászthory und Silvia Hurter

Source:

Schweizer Münzblätter 124 (November 1981) p. 77-86

 

Index:

Ponting, Matthew

Title:

Who minted those owls? : metallurgical analyses of Athenian-styled tetradrachms found in Israel / Matthew Ponting, Haim Gitler & Oren Tal

Published:

Bruxelles : [Société Royale de Numismatique de Belgique], 2011

Note:

Offprint from: Revue Belge de Numismatique 157 (2011) p. 117-134

Abstract:

This paper uses the analytical results from inductively-coupled plasma atomic emission spectrometry (icp-aes) and lead isotope analysis (q-icp-ms) of Athenian-style tetradrachms found in excavations in Israel, in order to investigate their origins. Some of these coins have been classified as Eastern imitations based on style, but the analysis suggests that many of these coins may actually be authentic Athenian issues. This is because they were in all probability produced from bullion that came from the silver mines of Laurion in Attica. Given the stylistic variability of the Athenian(-style) tetradrachms found in Israel, we can assume that they are representative of the ‘owls’ circulating in the East in Achaemenid times.

 

Index:

Serra, Antonio

Title:

Unusual coin from the Parabita hoard : combined use of surface and micro-analytical techniques for its characterisation / Antonio Serra ... [et al.]

Source:

Journal of Cultural Heritage 11 (2010) 2 (April) p. 233-238

Abstract:

Out of the staters collection of the National Archaeological Museum of Taranto, during the full examination of about one hundred coins minted by the Greek colony of Taras between the V century BC and the III century BC, our attention has been devoted to a lead coin, which has been regarded for many years as a genuine silver coin. This artifact, entry number 13 in the inventory list for the Parabita hoard, has been studied with the combined use of surface and micro-analytical techniques (SEM, EDX, PIXE, XRD). The joint use of different analytical techniques allowed us to obtain information about the morphology, the structure and the chemical composition of the analysed coin, that revealed a lead core coated with a bi-layer of copper and silver.

 

Index:

Stannard, Clive

Title:

Weight adjustment 'al marco' in Antiquity, and the Athenian decadrachm / Clive Stannard

Source:

Proceedings of the XIVth International Numismatic Congress, Glasgow 2009. I / ed. by Nicholas Holmes. - Glasgow : [International Numismatic Council]. 2011. – P. 427-434, pl. 1