Sunday, July 20, 2008

Some Resources for the Study of Excavated Coin Finds

A couple of readers asked that I post some links and bibliography for large inventories and databases of coin finds from excavated contexts. I list some bibliography and hyperlinks below. The list is arranged alphabetically by country, with a small amount of commentary. Any corrections or additions would greatly be appreciated.

Here I am focusing only on important and wide-ranging regional inventories and so I must make the disclaimer that a number of important excavation and coin reports, which I have not listed, for each of these countries and for those that are not listed are available. In this list I make mention of coin hoards from time to time, but I am focusing primarily on excavated coin finds. For coin hoards a good place to start online would be the database for Roman Imperial Coin Hoards (RICH).

Austria's Die Fundmünzen der römischen Zeit in Österreich (FMRÖ) series began in 1971 and follows the same format as the FMRD inventories which began in 1960 (see Germany below) and is one the most extensive inventory of coin finds in Europe after Germany's FMRD. [WorldCat].
The Austrians, like the Germans, have begun entering coin finds into an online database. [visit digitale Fundmünzen der römischen Zeit in Österreich (dFMRÖ).]
As yet, there exists no systematic inventory of coin finds from Belgium in print or in an online database. However, there is a digital database of some 25,000 coin finds from Belgium which has been used by scholars conducting research on Fundnumismatik. It is my understanding that this database may ultimately be made accessible online.
Croatia models its inventories on the German series, Die Fundmünzen der römischen Zeit in Deutschland (FMRD) [see Germany below]. Thus far only one volume has been published (2002). The series is entitled Die Fundmünzen der römischen Zeit in Kroatien (FMRHr - and yes, that is how it's abbreviated!). [Check for FMRHr volumes in WorldCat or visit the website of Fundmünzen der Antike (FdA)].
Hans-Christoph Noeske has published two important books inventorying and analyzing coin finds from Egypt: H.-Chr. Noeske. 2000. Münzfunde aus Ägypten I: Die Münzfunde des ägyptischen Pilgerzentrums Abu Mina und die Verleichsfunde aus den Diocesen Aegyptus und Oriens vom 4.-8. Jh. n. Chr. (SFMA 12, Berlin: Gebr. Mann Verlag) and id. 2006. Münzfunde aus Ägypten II: Die griechisch-römischen Münzfunde aus dem Fayum. (SFMA 22, Mainz: von Zabern). [WorldCat].
England and Wales:
Here there are two important online tools: Iron Age and Roman Coins from Wales (IARCW) and the finds registry of the Portable Antiquities Scheme (PAS); the latter records finds reported by metal detectorists. There is also an index of Celtic coins from England and Wales.
To my knowledge, there are no systematic inventories of archaeologically recovered coin finds, though the French publish an important series for coin hoards, which are often recovered archaeologically: Trésors monétaires. [WorldCat].
In Germany coin find inventories are the most extensive, published in the series Die Fundmünzen der römischen Zeit in Deutschland (FMRD). The first volume was published in 1960 (by Hans-Jörg Kellner), when Hans-Gebhart and Konrad Kraft were series editors. Maria R.-Alföldi and Hans-Markus von Kaenel are the current series editors. The FMRD series is arranged by federal regions in Germany and are often further subdivided by region or city. Inventories frequently include lists from excavated coin hoards in addition to single and surface finds from archaeological or historical sites. A brochure I found while working with the people who produce these inventories estimates that approximately 340,000 ancient coin finds will have been recorded in these inventories at the conclusion of the project, for which funding soon expires. [Check for FMRD volumes in WorldCat or visit the website of Fundmünzen der Antike (FdA)].

An online database of German coin finds now exists. It does not yet have all the material in the FMRD series, but does have some additional finds that were not published in the database and newer material is now typically entered into it as new volumes are being produced. [Visit NUMIDAT's overview and the search portal].
Hungary's inventories follow the same pattern as that of Germany's FMRD (see German above). Its series is entitled Die Fundmünzen der römischen Zeit in Ungarn (FMRU). [WorldCat].
All excavated coin finds from Israel (c. 130,000 to date) have been put into a database by numismatic scholars working at the Israeli Antiquities Authority (IAA). This database is not available online, but is accessible those conducting research on coin finds from the region. A number of excavation finds have, of course, been made available through excavation reports and individually published coin reports.
When working with coin finds from Italy, one must still consult individual excavation and coin reports, such as those from Pompeii. However, one important systematic inventory is from the region of Veneto: Ritrovamenti monetali di età romana nel Veneto (RMR Ve). [WorldCat].

As massive 'excavations' took place in the city of Rome during the risorgamento in the nineteenth century, many finds, including coins, were poorly published. Still there exists no published corpus of numismatic finds from the Eternal City, but approximately 60,000 finds from Rome (sottosuolo) have been studied by German scholars and put into the NUMIDAT database. It is expected that these finds will also be made available in print.

For Republican coin hoards in Italy, D. Backendorf. 1998. Römische Münzschätze des zweiten und ersten Jahrhunderts v. Chr. vom Italienischen Festland (SFMA 13, Berlin: Gebr. MannVerlag) is a good source and starting point.
Luxembourg's inventories mirror the format of FMRD (see Germany above). The series is called Fundmünzen der römischen Zeit im Großherzogtum Luxemburg (FMRL). Less frequently, the series is cited by its French name: Monnaies antiques découvertes au Grand-Duché de Luxembourg. [Check for FMRL volumes in WorldCat or visit the website of Fundmünzen der Antike (FdA)].
The Netherlands:
The format of the Dutch inventories, Die Fundmünzen der römischen Zeit in den Niederlanden (FMRN), is similar to that of the German inventories. [Check for FMRN volumes in WorldCat or visit the website of Fundmünzen der Antike (FdA)].

The Dutch also have an online database of coin finds: NUMIS.
A colleague, Cristian Gazdac, has been publishing finds from Romanian sites. [WorldCat]. Georges Depeyrot and some of his colleagues also conduct work on the region (see Transcaucusus below)
Slovenia is basing its inventories on the German series, Die Fundmünzen der römischen Zeit in Deutschland (FMRD) [see Germany above]. The series is entitled Die Fundmünzen der römischen Zeit in Slowenien (FMRSl) and several volume have already been published. [Check for FMRSl volumes in WorldCat or visit the website of Fundmünzen der Antike (FdA)].
While the Swiss inventories are similar in scope to FMRD and others, the formatting of the Swiss inventories is rather different. Their inventories are called by any one of the German, French, or Italian titles: Inventar der Fundmünzen der Schweiz (IFS), Inventaire des trouvailles monétaires suisses (ITMS), Inventario dei ritrovamenti monetali svizzeri (IRMS). [Check for IFS volumes in WorldCat or visit the website of IFS, which is available in German, French, Italian, and soon in English.
Georges Depeyrot and his colleagues have been publishing coin finds from these regions. [Visit the website].
(The illustration is a screen shot of the Fundmünzen der Antike (FDA) homepage).



There's also the Celtic Coin Index for England & Wales -


Thanks, I've added it to the list.