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Romano-British Coin Hoards (Shire Archaeology) [Paperback]

Richard Abdy
5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
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Book Description

1 May 2002 Shire Archaeology
Britain's visible Roman remains are lacking in impressive monuments such as the temples, arches and amphitheatres found in France and Italy. Yet to compare the foundations typical of Roman sites in Britain unfavourably with these is unfair since the best testament to Britain's participation in Graceo-Roman civilisation is its 'hidden' monuments: spectacular hoards of household valuables such as jewellery, precious-metal table utensils or decorations and also - the concern of this book - rich hoards of gold, silver and bronze coins. Many such hoards are hidden no longer, as visits to numerous museums will quickly show. Since the 1980s, there has been a rise in discoveries, mostly due to the increased use of metal detectors. In response to this, there has been a greater recognition of the importance of detailed recording and, in some cases, keeping coin hoards together as artefacts in their own right. This book provides an introduction to Romano-British coin hoards and places major discoveries, new and old, in the story of the Roman province's monetary system.

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Romano-British Coin Hoards (Shire Archaeology) + Roman Coinage in Britain (Shire Archaeology) + Roman Britain (Historical Map and Guide)
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Product details

  • Paperback: 72 pages
  • Publisher: Shire Publications Ltd (1 May 2002)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0747805326
  • ISBN-13: 978-0747805328
  • Product Dimensions: 0.6 x 16 x 20.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 285,996 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
  • See Complete Table of Contents

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About the Author

Richard Anthony Abdy graduated from the University of Glasgow and now curates the later Roman and early Byzantine coins at the British Museum. His duties include participating in the recording and publishing of Romano-British coin hoards as part of the treasure process. This enables museums to judge whether they are worth acquiring or at least saves the information for posterity before their dispersal.

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17 of 17 people found the following review helpful
In the ancient world there was no alternative to hoarding for anyone wishing to preserve savings. Typically in Roman Britain the coins were stored in pots and buried. Sometimes the coins were never collected and are found by farmers, passers-by and metal-detectorists. The metal-detector has produced huge numbers of hoards in recent years, providing a wealth of data invaulable to archaeologists and numismatists.
Richard Abdy's book is typical for the Shire series in presenting a taut, well-explained and well-illustrated summary of a special area in Archaeology and History. Abdy not only explains how coins were used in antiquity, but also what affected their availability and the effects of debasement and inflation. All of these factors influenced what coins were hoarded and when.
The text takes the reader through some of the dramatic gold and silver coin hoards found in Britain from the Roman period, as well as the monstrous hoards of the third and fourth centuries. Some of these number around 50,000 coins.
Hoards undoubtedly reflect periods of history, but interpreting them is very difficult. Richard Abdy doesn't buck the issue and he leaves the reader much better aware of how archaeologists and numismatists make use of this strange resource.
Anyone with an interest in Roman Britain should read this book. Coin collectors will also find it fascinating.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Not Just Educational but Interesting Too 30 Sep 2006
By J. Chippindale TOP 500 REVIEWER
The first Roman coin I handled and owned as a small boy was a magical thing. It was a coin depicting Constantine, not a particularly rare coin as Roman coins go, but a treasure esteemed above all others in childhood. Roman coins are not as rare as many people would believe. The Romans ruled Britain for quite a time and where once it used to be the farmer ploughing his fields that unearthed these treasures, the use of sophisticated metal detectors is now dramatically increasing the chances of finding coins and other metal implements.

It must be remembered that in Roman Britain there were no banks as such and certainly no safes. If we just take one example, say a Roman legionary based in York (Eboracum) is posted north to Hadrians Wall. The only safe thing he can do with his money and other treasured possessions is to bury them somewhere safe. Maybe he will do his tour of duty and come back or maybe he will end up with a sword in his belly. The odds are he has not told anyone where he buried his `hoard' so there it stays until Joe Bloggs comes along with his metal detector.

For those who follow the hobby of coin collecting or are just interested in antiquities, the book is a treasure trove of information. It gives detailed information and also provides well documented evidence of some of the gold and silver hoards found in Britain, dating from the Roman period. The book is also well illustrated. This is a book for everyone and not just the budding archaeologist.
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