Sunday, 8 December 2013

Early Electrum Coinage Symposium

Over on one of the few US coiney blogs actually worth reading is a post about an 'Early Electrum Coinage Symposium' (Ed Snible's A Gift for Polydektes, Monday, December 02, 2013). This is about a  symposium recently hosted by the American Numismatic Society on Early Electrum Coinage ("100 years ago early coinage was well understood [...]  The consensus view turns out to be mostly wrong") it is worth noting that the new evidence does not come from the text-based heap-of-loose-coins-on-a-table  match-the-picture-sorting, but involves the input from other disciplines outside coin collecting and taking into account local and site-specific context. This includes (the conference's first paper) archaeology. Coin collectors must recognized that they cannot 'go it alone' with their heaps of loose and freshly "surfaced" (from "underground"?) coins of unknown provenance. That gets them barely beyond nineteenth century standards. The study of the past is archaeology and coineys cannot ignore archaeology and its methods in their research.


Cultural Property Observer said...

Conversely, archaeologists should not ignore what numismatics has to offer in terms of finding context in die studies and the like. Ask your friend Nathan Elkins. I suspect he would agree.

Paul Barford said...

Can you explain that notion "finding context in die studies"? And why can that "context" not be found on properly provenanced coins, so that one can see the link between your die types and their stratigraphical context and exact spatial-temporal situation? Without it, this is just an artificial construct of your making, hanging in limbo.

To come back to what I have repeatedly asked of the ACCG (and one of your number saw fit to attack me over it), it is not so easy for outsiders to see what it is you are up to if there is no proper textbook setting out the methodology of heap-of-coins-on-a-table numismatics. If there was (or rather were several) I think you would find more interest in a dialogue. Without it, it is just rather irrelevant black box mumbo-jumbo for many archaeologists. Show the archaeological potential (real, not imagined) and I am sure we'll all fall at your feet in abject admiration. Until such a time, you'll forgive is for understandably treating your glib claims with some reserve.

Where's the textbook?

Cultural Property Observer said...

I think Dave Welsh tried to help you out with this but you wouldn't listen. Ask Nathan Elkins. He might be able to help you.

Paul Barford said...

Funny ideas you coineys have of "helping people out" and fostering understanding. Basically the man did not understand the question, never has and never will.

Why should I ask Dr Elkins when coineys have an advocacy group? One which actually has this in their over-long list of aims. This is precisely the sort of question the Collectors of the collectors' Guild should be dealing with.

Where is the textbook?

Also its not Nathan Elkins who is proposing to "find context in die studies", so I really think it is up to the person who used the phrase here on my blog to explain what it means. Can you do that please?

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