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17 of 17 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An excellent well-illustrated summary of the subject, 12 Jun 2002
This review is from: Romano-British Coin Hoards (Shire Archaeology) (Paperback)
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
J. Chippindale (England) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Romano-British Coin Hoards (Shire Archaeology) (Paperback)
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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Romano-British Coin Hoards (Shire Archaeology)
Romano-British Coin Hoards (Shire Archaeology) by Richard Abdy (Paperback - 1 May 2002)
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