Chapter

Re-evaluating Pompeii’s Coin Finds

Steven J. R. Ellis

in The Economy of Pompeii

Published in print December 2016 | ISBN: 9780198786573
Published online January 2017 | e-ISBN: 9780191828898 | DOI: https://dx.doi.org/10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198786573.003.0011

Series: Oxford Studies on the Roman Economy

Re-evaluating Pompeii’s Coin Finds

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This chapter by Steven J. R. Ellis explores the analytical possibilities of the coin evidence gathered in his excavation of the two house blocks surrounding the lowest stretch of the Via Stabiana, close to the main city gate on the south side of Pompeii. Ellis observes that his coins, even though many come from shops, were mostly found in construction layers, not in deposits suggesting coin loss; as a consequence, he argues that, rather than as a proxy for retail activities, coin finds should, in the first place, be associated with building activity. Thus, in the Porta Stabia area, coin finds can be used to highlight a commercial ‘boom’ in the Augustan period. At the same time, coin finds may reveal a story about coin circulation in earlier periods, such as, in this case, a massive increase in monetary exchange in the decades preceding the Augustan period.

Keywords: Augustan period; coins; excavation; Pompeii; retail

Chapter.  19532 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Classical History

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