This monograph publishes the coins recovered in an excavation of Regio VIII, Insula 7,1-15 in Pompeii, investigated between 2005 and 2009 by the “Pompeii Archaeological Research Project: Porta Stabia” of the University of Cincinnati. Studying money in Pompeii certainly means assessing the importance of this medium of exchange in the economic and social activities of the ancient world, and investigating its flows, the ways in which it was used, and the contexts in which it was found. But it also means shedding light on a cultural history, that of a Mediterranean which back in those times, in spite of wars and disagreements, communicated much better that we are able to do today, a sea across which human beings, commodities and ideas traveled, as well as, of course, coins. Indeed, throughout the life of Pompeii was characterized by a heterogeneous and prominent presence of "Mediterranean” money. Studying the money used in the Vesuvian city means trying to recover and shed light on the role of money as a “social object”, a role it played in the ancient world and still does today, although in significantly different ways. This book aims to provide an up-to-date overview of the presence and circulation of coins in Pompeii between the fourth century BC and AD 79. Although the stratigraphic investigation of, and the materials from, Regio VIII, Insula 7,1-15 are still unpublished, I have tried to put the coins found here back into the context of their respective historical periods. I therefore provide a general periodization of the numismatic evidence under study. This restoration of the diachronic context has allowed me to make a series of considerations – which may be perfected in later studies – on the behavior of money in different stages in the town’s life, highlighting its evolution and modes of circulation. By “(numismatic) context" I therefore refer here to the whole corpus of coins unearthed in any period or phase. I have devoted special attention to a group of coins occurring very frequently all over the Vesuvian area, including Pompeii itself – as well as in the area of the Province of Salerno all the way to Velia, although in less significant numbers than in the ager vesuvianus – namely, the coins of Ybshm/Ebusus and Massalia, and a group of local imitations thereof. These coins appeared around the middle of the second century BC and remained in use until the early imperial period. I have investigated their chronology and distribution within Pompeii to throw light on the reasons for their arrival in Campania and for the production of this necessity coinage, which mainly imitates types of the Balearic island and the cities of the Gulf of the Lion. In line with the approach adopted in my PhD dissertation, I turned to the exact sciences for answers to certain questions and, at the same time, experimented with scientific investigation methods to improve knowledge of this numismatic evidence and thereby allow it to be adequately conserved and made better known to the general public. These archaeometric investigations mainly focused on the above-mentioned group of coins. The aim was, on the one hand, to order them by sorting them into types and defining objective elements distinguishing prototypes from copies, on the other, to reply to the questions that constantly trouble numismatists: Who minted these coins? Where and when were they produced? How, when and how much did they circulate? My examination of the evidence and the considerations arising from this examination take up four chapters, complemented by several appendixes. Chapter 1 illustrates the places where the coins were found and sets a historical and topographic context by describing the periods distinguished in the excavations. For each period, I first briefly describe the building phases of the insula in the light of the urbanistic, historical and economic changes that Pompeii went through during its life. I then present the numismatic corpus relative to each period in the form of tables. Chapter 2 is a catalogue of the 523 coins recovered during the five excavation campaigns. Chapter III gives an overview of the numismatic evidence and systematizes, examines and interprets it. In my conclusions, contained in Chapter 4, I deal with the mass of coins found in VIII.7.1-15 from a different perspective, trying to reach a clearer understanding of the nature and significance of this evidence to highlight analogies and specificities within each individual period, in the more general context of numismatic evidence from Pompeii as a whole. The Appendixes present the results of the archaeometric investigations. Appendix 1 illustrates the method employed for the radiographic investigations and the experimentation of a radiographic imaging system allowing a more accurate interpretation of poorly preserved specimens and their conservation issues. Appendix 2 presents the results of EDXRF-Energy Dispersive X-Ray Fluorescence investigations. These were mainly carried out on the Ybshm/Ebusus and Massalia coins and their respective local imitations, with the purpose of shedding light on their alloy compositions. Finally, Appendix 3 illustrates the results of isotopic testing of the lead contained in the alloy of the Ybshm/Ebusus coins and their Campanian imitations. These tests employ Isotopic Mass Spectrometry to trace the places of origin of the lead used in the alloys.

Rinvenimenti monetali e circolazione a Pompei. Le monete dalla Regio VIII,7,1-15

Pardini, Giacomo
2017-01-01

Abstract

This monograph publishes the coins recovered in an excavation of Regio VIII, Insula 7,1-15 in Pompeii, investigated between 2005 and 2009 by the “Pompeii Archaeological Research Project: Porta Stabia” of the University of Cincinnati. Studying money in Pompeii certainly means assessing the importance of this medium of exchange in the economic and social activities of the ancient world, and investigating its flows, the ways in which it was used, and the contexts in which it was found. But it also means shedding light on a cultural history, that of a Mediterranean which back in those times, in spite of wars and disagreements, communicated much better that we are able to do today, a sea across which human beings, commodities and ideas traveled, as well as, of course, coins. Indeed, throughout the life of Pompeii was characterized by a heterogeneous and prominent presence of "Mediterranean” money. Studying the money used in the Vesuvian city means trying to recover and shed light on the role of money as a “social object”, a role it played in the ancient world and still does today, although in significantly different ways. This book aims to provide an up-to-date overview of the presence and circulation of coins in Pompeii between the fourth century BC and AD 79. Although the stratigraphic investigation of, and the materials from, Regio VIII, Insula 7,1-15 are still unpublished, I have tried to put the coins found here back into the context of their respective historical periods. I therefore provide a general periodization of the numismatic evidence under study. This restoration of the diachronic context has allowed me to make a series of considerations – which may be perfected in later studies – on the behavior of money in different stages in the town’s life, highlighting its evolution and modes of circulation. By “(numismatic) context" I therefore refer here to the whole corpus of coins unearthed in any period or phase. I have devoted special attention to a group of coins occurring very frequently all over the Vesuvian area, including Pompeii itself – as well as in the area of the Province of Salerno all the way to Velia, although in less significant numbers than in the ager vesuvianus – namely, the coins of Ybshm/Ebusus and Massalia, and a group of local imitations thereof. These coins appeared around the middle of the second century BC and remained in use until the early imperial period. I have investigated their chronology and distribution within Pompeii to throw light on the reasons for their arrival in Campania and for the production of this necessity coinage, which mainly imitates types of the Balearic island and the cities of the Gulf of the Lion. In line with the approach adopted in my PhD dissertation, I turned to the exact sciences for answers to certain questions and, at the same time, experimented with scientific investigation methods to improve knowledge of this numismatic evidence and thereby allow it to be adequately conserved and made better known to the general public. These archaeometric investigations mainly focused on the above-mentioned group of coins. The aim was, on the one hand, to order them by sorting them into types and defining objective elements distinguishing prototypes from copies, on the other, to reply to the questions that constantly trouble numismatists: Who minted these coins? Where and when were they produced? How, when and how much did they circulate? My examination of the evidence and the considerations arising from this examination take up four chapters, complemented by several appendixes. Chapter 1 illustrates the places where the coins were found and sets a historical and topographic context by describing the periods distinguished in the excavations. For each period, I first briefly describe the building phases of the insula in the light of the urbanistic, historical and economic changes that Pompeii went through during its life. I then present the numismatic corpus relative to each period in the form of tables. Chapter 2 is a catalogue of the 523 coins recovered during the five excavation campaigns. Chapter III gives an overview of the numismatic evidence and systematizes, examines and interprets it. In my conclusions, contained in Chapter 4, I deal with the mass of coins found in VIII.7.1-15 from a different perspective, trying to reach a clearer understanding of the nature and significance of this evidence to highlight analogies and specificities within each individual period, in the more general context of numismatic evidence from Pompeii as a whole. The Appendixes present the results of the archaeometric investigations. Appendix 1 illustrates the method employed for the radiographic investigations and the experimentation of a radiographic imaging system allowing a more accurate interpretation of poorly preserved specimens and their conservation issues. Appendix 2 presents the results of EDXRF-Energy Dispersive X-Ray Fluorescence investigations. These were mainly carried out on the Ybshm/Ebusus and Massalia coins and their respective local imitations, with the purpose of shedding light on their alloy compositions. Finally, Appendix 3 illustrates the results of isotopic testing of the lead contained in the alloy of the Ybshm/Ebusus coins and their Campanian imitations. These tests employ Isotopic Mass Spectrometry to trace the places of origin of the lead used in the alloys.
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