La moneta di basso conto a Elea/Velia: uso e produzione 

Research La moneta di basso conto a Elea/Velia: uso e produzione 

Small change in Elea/Velia: use and production


This study will investigate the diffusion and use of coinage between the third century BC and the Roman imperial age within the archaeological area of Elea/Velia and also in relation to Rome and its coin production. Specifically, we intend to further the study of coin usage through the reconstruction of economic processes, above all retail transactions, on the basis of archaeological excavations conducted in the urban area and the considerable quantity of previously unseen coins unearthed in the last few decades.

The scientific repercussions of this context-based approach impact different research areas: it will be possible not only to ‘fine-tune’ the chronology, thus helping to reconstruct the ancient settlement’s history, but also to understand the quality and quantity of coins circulating in the various historical periods and obtain data for the interpretation of coinage accepted as currency (local coins issued by a public authority and still bearing inscriptions in Greek in the late Republican age). Together with Paestum, Velia is one of the rare cases of a southern Italian town where independent bronze coins were still in use in the first century BC in a subsidiary role to the silver denari issued by Rome.

It is common knowledge that local minting continued into the late Republican age, but there is a lack of up-to-date studies evaluating the extent and distribution of the majority of third century BC coins minted in specific historical periods. Rome produced very little small change values which, in addition to its policy of non-interference in local circulation, led to different solutions being adopted in the provinces. In Campania, as in other sites in Magna Graecia, the need to ensure the exchange of services and low-value goods resulted in the adoption of public measures or expedients by the users themselves (for example, the fragmentation of coins). Official coin minting was sometimes accompanied by private initiatives (for instance, in Paestum) while in other towns the custom of using coins minted elsewhere prevailed (as in Pompeii). The common denominator is the greater need for small change, but the magnitude of this phenomenon and the dynamics of each specific situation can only be understood through an analytical study of the coin series and the context of their finding, which will make it possible to evaluate when and how they were used. This type of study has never been undertaken for the coinage found at Velia.

The research therefore entails inventorying, restoring and cataloguing all Greek and Roman coin finds in Velia, prior to a study of the coins produced in the town from the late third century BC up to the late Republican Age and a reconstruction of the data regarding the provenance of these issues and the distribution of finds within the town.

The research will examine some significant contexts of Velia investigated in recent archaeological explorations, which brought to light different types and denominations of coins in order to shed light on public and private areas of town life. The public complexes include the Hellenistic Baths, the so-called Agora, the Stoa Building on the Upper Terrace of the Acropolis and the Masseria Cobellis Building (Southern Quarter), while the private buildings analysed are the House of Frescoes (Western Quarter) and the houses in block AI (Southern Quarter). Further data will be obtained from the study of graves in the Porta Marina Sud Necropolis, which dates back to the early imperial age. The project will also aim to define quantitative and qualitative aspects of the last few series coined by Velia which bore the various types of Athena head on the obverse and a tripod on the reverse. A study of their iconographic and stylistic peculiarities, assisted by a serial analysis of the coin dies (recently started) will help with the dating, the duration and the volume of coin issue.

Furthermore, in order to achieve an enhanced knowledge of the above emissions, the CHNet - LIMS-INFN network/Laboratory of Isotopic Mass Spectrometry at the Gran Sasso National Laboratories (National Institute of Nuclear Physics-INFN) has been called upon to conduct archaeometric analyses to determine the characteristics of the metal alloys used and the origin of the raw materials, in particular the lead used in the metal alloys. The archaeometric analysis will also provide information on the state of metal degradation of poorly preserved specimens, which will prove useful in establishing the most suitable procedures for exploratory and conservative restoration.

Partnership

Laboratorio di Archeologia Classica
Università degli Studi di Napoli 'Federico II'
Universität Wien, Institut für Klassische Archäologie
Cultural Heritage Network-CHNet
Laboratori Nazionali del Gran Sasso-INFN, Laboratorio di Spettrometria di Massa Isotopica
Soprintendenza Archeologia, Belle Arti e Paesaggio per le provincie di Salerno ed Avellino

Team

CANTILENA Renata

Responsabile Scientifico

Dipartimento di Scienze del Patrimonio Culturale/DISPAC

PARDINI Giacomo

Responsabile

Dipartimento di Scienze del Patrimonio Culturale/DISPAC

CARBONE Federico

Responsabile

Dipartimento di Scienze del Patrimonio Culturale/DISPAC

VECCHIO Luigi

Collaboratore

Dipartimento di Scienze del Patrimonio Culturale/DISPAC

MARANI FLAVIA

Collaboratore

Dipartimento di Scienze del Patrimonio Culturale/DISPAC

Antonietta TEDESCO

Collaboratore

Dipartimento di Scienze del Patrimonio Culturale, Università degli Studi di Salerno, - laureanda (LM-2 Archeologia e Cultura Antiche)

Olena VYNARCHUK

Collaboratore

Dipartimento di Scienze del Patrimonio Culturale, Università degli Studi di Salerno, - laureanda (LM-2 Archeologia e Cultura Antiche)

Verena GASSNER

Collaboratore Esterno

Universität Wien, Institut für Klassische Archäologie

Marco FERRANTE

Collaboratore Esterno

Laboratori Nazionali del Gran Sasso-INFN, Laboratorio di Spettrometria di Massa Isotopica

Maria Tommasa GRANESE

Collaboratore Esterno

Soprintendenza Archeologia, Belle Arti e Paesaggio per le provincie di Salerno ed Avellino/MiBAC - Funzionario archeologo

Pier Renato TRINCHERINI

Collaboratore Esterno

Laboratori Nazionali del Gran Sasso-INFN, Laboratorio di Spettrometria di Massa Isotopica

Stefano NISI

Collaboratore Esterno

CHNet - Laboratori Nazionali del Gran Sasso-INFN, Laboratorio di Spettrometria di Massa Isotopica

Luigi CICALA

Collaboratore Esterno

Università degli Studi di Napoli ‘Federico II’, Dipartimento di Studi Umanistici - Professore Ordinario
Velia panoramaVelia piantaMonete veliaStudenti e profStudentiStudentiGruppo

Contacts

CANTILENA Renata

PARDINI Giacomo

CARBONE Federico


Main ERC panel

SH6 The Study of the Human Past: Archaeology, history and memory

ERC keywords

SH6_1 Archaeology, archaeometry, landscape archaeology

SH6_3 Ancient history

SH6_8 Social and economic history

PE4 Physical and Analytical Chemical Sciences: Analytical chemistry, chemical theory, physical chemistry/chemical physics

PE4_2 Spectroscopic and spectrometric techniques

Funding & Sponsorship

  • Fondi FARB (Università degli Studi di Salerno, Dipartimento di Scienze del Patrimonio Culturale/DiSPaC)
  • Ministero per i Beni e le Attività Culturali e del Turismo
  • Fondazione Nazionale delle Comunicazioni (Roma)

Prizes and awards

Concorso Art Bonus 2019 ‘Progetto dell’anno’

More significant publications related to the project

  • Cantilena R. 2003,Monete di Velia a Poseidonia, in G. Greco (a cura di), Elea-Velia. Le nuove ricerche, Atti del Convegno di Studi (Napoli 2001), “Quaderni del Centro di Studi Magna Grecia” 1, Napoli, pp. 79-89
  • Cantilena R. 2006,La monetazione di Elea e le vicende storiche della città: limiti e contributi della documentazione numismatica, in Velia, Atti del quarantacinquesimo convegno di studi sulla Magna Grecia, I (Taranto- Marina di Ascea, 21-25 settembre 2005), Taranto, pp. 423-460
  • Cantilena R., Carbone F., Pardini G. c.d.s, Paestum, Velia, Pompeii: monetary policies in Tyrrhenian Campania from the 2nd century BC to the 1st century A.D., in XIXth ICCA, Archaelogy and Economy in the Ancient World (Bonn-Cologne 2018), Proceedings

Keywords

elea/velia  numismaticiunisa numismatica numismatics ancient coins coin finds moneta spicciolasmall change rinvenimenti monetali art bonus contesti archeologiciarchaeological contexts contesti numismatici numismatic contexts archeometria archaeometry conoscenzatutelavalorizzazione 

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