Thursday 2 July 2020

Fifty Juicy Roman Coins Wot The Public Found

Following on from their "Noddy goes to Roman Britain" book on Fifty Loose Finds some with dodgy findspots, there's going to be another PAS lurch into another presentation of their "data" (I use the term loosely), this time the coins. Dr. Andrew Brown of the Dept. of Learning and National Partnerships of the British Museum (Assistant Finds Adviser and Treasure Curator for Iron Age and Roman coins Portable Antiquities and Treasure) is working on a book to be published later this year:
50 FINDS OF ROMAN COINAGE Available on: Sunday 15th November 2020

Roman coinage represents the largest single category of object recorded through the PAS, with over 300,000 single finds in addition to several thousand hoards. This dataset, unparalleled anywhere else in the world, provides a unique perspective on the province of Roman Britain and its interaction with the larger Roman Empire. By exploring 50 key finds of Roman coinage it will be possible to shed light on all aspects of Roman Britain from the conquest in AD 43 through to the Roman withdrawal by c. AD 410. Unusually for a Roman numismatic dataset, the PAS examples provide wide coverage of the entire province, not just individual settlements, shedding light on early military activity, the development of the rural landscape, as well as the socio-political and cultural landscape of the province.
Approaching the material thematically, it will be possible to examine key elements such as religion, the economy, British ‘identity’, the ‘First Brexit’, and the archaeological application or implications of the PAS data.
96 pages Illustrations 150 Also published by Amberly Books
Another picture book, no doubt some dot-distribution maps....We will see how much of a unique perspective the way these coins are treated by the PAS will actually offer. I think you would have to ignore some of their earlier products to have much optimism about that. I am sceptical that coiney view that loose coin finds and hoards will “shed light on all (sic) aspects of Roman Britain. I am curious how one would examine “interaction (sic) with the larger Roman Empire” when all you’ve got are metal detected finds from England and Wales.. I’ll be awaiting the manner of treatment of “religion” on the basis of “fifty coin finds”... and I really cannot wait to see the bit on “examining key elements such as British ‘identity’, the ‘First Brexit’...”, oh please. It’s not the first time the PAS have come out with this sort of nonsense, so they’ll have had some time to mature their views, let us see. And I’m sharpening my Occam’s Razor for the discussion of the “archaeological application of the PAS data”.

For those who cannot wait for the book, here is Dr. Andrew Brown at the American Numismatic Society, "Ancient Coinage and the Portable Antiquities Scheme" 2 Dec 2019.

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