Treasure-Trove: Numismatics and the Archaeology of Money|
In many parts of the world, lost coins numbering in the millions lie buried in the ground. Periodically, some of these coins come to light in the course of plowing, digging to repair a water main, or prospecting with metal detectors. These "treasure-trove" finds-also known as coin hoards-provide the archaeologist of money with rich evidence of how money was actually used in pre-modern times. Which coins occur together in a hoard; the numbers in which they occur, and the spatial patterning of their findspots all speak volumes about pre-modern economies, circulation patterns, and beliefs about money and value. In this seminar, we explore the evidence of coins and coin hoards, studying them from numismatic perspectives (the images and legends on a given coin type, metals used, weights, fabric), metrological and denominational perspectives (what coins reveal about systems of weights and denominational structures), and statistical approaches (for example, studying patterns of weight loss as indicators of the velocity of circulation and degree of monetization in a given society). The course focuses primarily on a series of case studies and hands-on, in-class lab sessions based on actual numismatic materials, primarily drawn from ancient and medieval South Asia, and classical Greece and Rome. Specialized techniques introduced may include XRF (X-ray fluorescence) as a means of studying the metallurgical contents of coins; students will also be introduced to the Deccan Coin Hoards GIS database and its potential for spatial and statistical analysis of patterns of money use.
||Gen Ed Area Dept:
|Course Format: Seminar||Grading Mode: Graded|
||Fulfills a Major Requirement for: (ARCP-MN)(ARCP)(ARHA)
||Past Enrollment Probability: 90% or above
|Major Readings: Wesleyan RJ Julia Bookstore
Andrew Burnett, Coins (Berkeley, 1991)
Philip Grierson, Numismatics (Oxford, 1975)
John Deyell, Living without Silver: The Monetary History of Early Medieval North India (New Delhi, 1990)
And assorted articles and excerpts available on Moodle, including:
Levent Atici, Sarah Whitcher Kansa, Justin Lev-Tov and Eric C. Kansa, "Other People's Data: A Demonstration of the Imperative of Publishing Primary Data", Journal of Archaeological Method and Theory, 2013.
Markus Breier, "GIS for Numismatics: Methods of Analyses in the Interpretation of Coin Finds" in Mapping Different Geographies. Heidelberg, 2010.
B.D.Chattopadhyaya, "D.D. Kosambi and the Study of Early Indian Coins", Economic and Political Weekly 2008
E.J. Frazer and J. van der Touw, "The Random Walk: a Study of Coins Lost and Found in an Urban Environment", Numismatic Chronicle, 2010.
Jules Janick and Judith B. Santini, "Street Money: Distribution and Analysis" American Journal of Numismatics, 2004-05.
Kris Lockyear, "Models of Coin Supply and Circulation", ch. 3 of Patterns and Process in Late Roman Republican Coin Hoards, 157-2 BC, Oxford 2007.
Jan Lucassen, "The Logistics of Wage Payments: Changing Patterns in Northern India in the 1840s"
Bengt Thordeman, "The Lohe Hoard: A Contribution to the Methodology of Numismatics", The Numismatic Chronicle and Journal of the Royal Numismatic Society, 1948.
|Examination and Assignments: |
Regular contributions to seminar discussion (including reports on readings), two "critical reflections" (1-2 pages) based on exercises begun in class; oral presentation of research project, research paper
|Instructor(s): Wagoner,Phillip B. Times: .....F. 01:20PM-04:10PM; Location: BOGH113; |
|Total Enrollment Limit: 14||SR major: 4||JR major: 3|| || |
|Seats Available: 1||GRAD: X||SR non-major: 4||JR non-major: 2||SO: 1||FR: X|