EMF - Current Meeting (abstracts)

May 21, 2001

May 2001


Constantina Vlachou (Department of Archaeological Sciences, University of Bradford)

Roman Coinage suffered from severe debasement during the 3rd century AD. By 213 AD the fineness of the denarius had been reduced to 50% Ag and by 250 AD to just 5% Ag. By that time, the production of complex copper alloy (Cu-Sn-Pb-Ag) coins with a silvered surface, became common practice. One of the most characteristic examples was a new coin, the nummus, introduced by Diocletian, in his monetary reform (AD 293). Previous analyses of this coin did not solve key technological issues and in particular, the silvering process. The British Museum kindly allowed further research at Bradford to examine coins from Cope's Archive in more detail utilizing XRF, SEM-EDS metallography and LA-ICP-MS. Recent results from this work are presented in this paper.

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