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Rethinking Roman Britain: an applied numismatic analysis of the Roman coin data recorded by the Portable Antiquities Scheme

Walton, P.J.; (2011) Rethinking Roman Britain: an applied numismatic analysis of the Roman coin data recorded by the Portable Antiquities Scheme. Doctoral thesis, UCL (University College London). Green open access

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Abstract

This thesis explores the potential of Roman coin data, particularly that recorded by the PAS, as a tool for understanding the development of the Roman province of Britannia. Using a range of Applied Numismatic techniques, it surveys patterns of coin loss to evaluate when, where, by whom and for what purpose Roman coins were employed. In doing so, it provides an insight not only into the economy of Roman Britain, but also a range of themes such as regionality and Romanisation. Five case-studies involve analysis of the coin data at a national or regional level. The first, outlined in Chapter 4, explores mean values for coin loss and presents a new method for investigating denominational variation. This provides fundamental context for all research undertaken in this thesis. It is followed by four chapters that offer a snapshot of patterns of coin loss at key moments during the history of Roman Britain. These include analyses of Republican and Claudian issues, Carausian and Allectan coinage, and mid fourth to early fifth century coinage. Two further case studies focus on patterns of coin loss at a regional and site-specific level. Chapter 9 integrates site find and hoard evidence from the Isle of Wight, in order to investigate its development within a provincial context. The usefulness of coin assemblages for identifying settlement foci and tracing their chronologies is also assessed. Chapter 10 explores the character and date of a votive deposit from Piercebridge, County Durham. It compares and contrasts the coin profile for the site with other votive assemblages from Roman Britain, in order to test the theory that particular types of site exhibit particular types of coin loss. The treatment of coins is also assessed as are non-numismatic finds’ data. Chapter 11 summarises the conclusions reached in individual chapters and explores how they lead to an enhanced understanding of Roman Britain. Recommendations for further work are also made.

Type:Thesis (Doctoral)
Title:Rethinking Roman Britain: an applied numismatic analysis of the Roman coin data recorded by the Portable Antiquities Scheme
Open access status:An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
Language:English
UCL classification:UCL > School of Arts and Social Sciences > Faculty of Social and Historical Sciences > Institute of Archaeology

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