Andreas Murgan | Project | Vita | Publication 

Functions and usage of uncoined metal in the western Mediterranean in the second half of the first millennium B.C.


Coins and Money in Antiquity
Supervisor: Prof. Dr. Fleur Kemmers

This research is part of the broader Lichtenberg project “Coinage and the Dynamics of Power: the Western Mediterranean 500-100 BC“, led by Prof. Dr. F. Kemmers. This project examines the development, function and use of money and coinage in the second half of the first millennium B.C., and has a strong interdisciplinary focus.

One aspect of money in this period is the uncoined metal in the western Mediterranean. In this region metal was, amongst other things, used as a forerunner to coinage, with the weight of the metal adjusted to suit particular needs. These metals show great regional differentiation: while people in central Italy used bronze in lumps and ingots, the Greek cities along the Italian and Sicilian coasts made use of similar forms in silver. In Iberia so-called ‘Hacksilber’ was utilised: chopped up silver jewellery and other cut pieces of silver.

The analysis aims to improve our knowledge of the regional and supra-regional use of these lumps and ingots in the second half of the first millennium B.C. In particular the project will examine the cultural and archaeological context of these artefacts in order to better understand the development of money and its functions (as a commodity, measure of value, accumulation of wealth, store of value and means of payment), and the implications of this for the societies of this period in both a regional and supra-regional context.