Coinage in its Archaeological Context

Mark Blackburn

in The Oxford Handbook of Anglo-Saxon Archaeology

Published in print March 2011 | ISBN: 9780199212149
Published online September 2012 | | DOI:

Series: Oxford Handbooks in Archaeology

 Coinage in its Archaeological Context

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  • Archaeology
  • Anglo-Saxon and Medieval Archaeology


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This article describes some uses and limitations of numismatic evidence and the specialist methodology, while illustrating the directions in which current research is developing. Coins are both archaeological artefacts and historical documents. The designs on a coin should be regarded as complementing the inscriptions and from time to time as conveying a message. It is important to distinguish between the date of production of a coin, and the date of its loss. The intensity of use of Anglo-Saxon coinage was probably less than it would be in the later Middle Ages, and the periods of circulation were much shorter. There are five English coin types known from four different sites, all of them with some archaeological context. In the coming decades, greater emphasis will probably be placed on the wider economic and social implications to be drawn from the use of coinage.

Keywords: coinage; archaeological artefacts; historical documents; inscriptions; Anglo-Saxon coinage; English coin

Article.  8321 words. 

Subjects: Archaeology ; Anglo-Saxon and Medieval Archaeology

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