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Author Topic: Ancient Mint Maps  (Read 1468 times)

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Online Virgil H

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Ancient Mint Maps
« on: February 02, 2021, 05:59:21 pm »
I am considering attempting to create an overlay(s) for ancient maps on the Pleiades mapping site that I posted about recently to show ancient mints. I decided to search around to see if this has already been done. It appears it has been to a point, but not quite what I have in mind and these are not complete. They are interesting and useful. Here is a link:
http://ancientnomosart.org/exhibits/category/ancient-mints-mapping/

If anyone knows of other maps that identify mints in all or some periods of ancient history, I would love to see them.

Thanks,
Virgil


Offline n.igma

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Re: Ancient Mint Maps
« Reply #1 on: February 02, 2021, 09:41:43 pm »
The ANS series of portals show the mint location and find location of each type of coin under the relevant coin entry ... example attached from Seleucid Coins Online (SCO) http://numismatics.org/sco/

Other portals include:
http://coinhoards.org/ ... shows location of mints that produced coins in a hoard  
http://numismatics.org/pella/  ... for Alexander mints
http://numismatics.org/pco/ ... Ptolemaic coinage
http://numismatics.org/agco/  ... Antigonid coinage
http://numismatics.org/hrc/ ... Hellenistic coinages

Each of these has a Maps  function that plots the mints on an interactive scalable map. e.g. for Seleucid mints .... http://numismatics.org/sco/maps (see small scale map below)

The ANS MANTIS database has the same functionality for all coinages and times (click on MAPS for the drop down menu) ... (a couple example of MANTIS attached below)

http://numismatics.org/search/department/Greek
All historical inquiry is contingent and provisional, and our own prejudices will in due course come under scrutiny by our successors.

Online Pekka K

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Re: Ancient Mint Maps
« Reply #2 on: February 03, 2021, 02:41:14 am »

Offline Altamura

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Re: Ancient Mint Maps
« Reply #3 on: February 03, 2021, 03:18:06 am »
... The ANS MANTIS database has the same functionality for all coinages and times (click on MAPS for the drop down menu) ... (a couple example of MANTIS attached below) ...
But with many wrong and missing mints :(.

Two Greek mints in the UK ???
No coins minted under the Romans in Trier ???

Again there are some severe problems with the data quality in these ANS systems  :-\.

Regards

Altamura




Online Virgil H

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Re: Ancient Mint Maps
« Reply #4 on: February 03, 2021, 11:00:10 am »
Thank you n.igma, Pekka, and Altamura,

I spent some time with the ANS maps last night, as well as the RPC map some this morning. Not enough time, but to try to get a feel for them. The RPC map is more along the lines of what I was thinking of. That one also shows some mints missing on the ANS maps.

The ANS maps are impressive, but way too complicated and easy to miss things or just get confused  :). At least for me. For serious scholars researching specific topics, I can see their usefulness. Also, they seem to be a collaborative effort, so I imagine that missing mints could be added once one fully understands all the filters. I am going to go deeper into both as these are just my initial impressions.

Thanks again, there is no need for me to reinvent the wheel other than create perhaps a specific map for myself that shows what I specifically want to see, but the raw materials for that are already here.

Virgil

Offline n.igma

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Re: Ancient Mint Maps
« Reply #5 on: February 03, 2021, 09:46:06 pm »
... The ANS MANTIS database has the same functionality for all coinages and times (click on MAPS for the drop down menu) ... (a couple example of MANTIS attached below) ...
But with many wrong and missing mints :(.

Two Greek mints in the UK ???
No coins minted under the Romans in Trier ???

Again there are some severe problems with the data quality in these ANS systems  :-\.

Regards

Altamura



Not an integrity problem. Rather, it is an issue of classification and the source of the data, which is old long established collections.

Early scholars classified Celtic coinages of the 1st Century BC in the "Greek" oeuvre which they clearly imitated.

For example if you refer to Sear GCV I Europe nos 154-189 from the BM you will see British attribution. This classification remains in tact in the collections of the BM and ANS. You may disagree, but its not a data quality issue in the database, simply a matter of definition of "Greek"!

All databases are imperfect and that is a fact of life.

More so, in the case of numismatic databases built on collections assembled over a century or more, during which time definitions and even attributions may have changed. Moreover, built as they are on old collections with little or new material being added in the last fifty years due to cultural heritage laws they are missing many new types, newly identified mints and re-attributions.

It is wise to be less critical of the database and more attentive to these aspects when using any database.

Certainly, it is naive in the extreme to assume any database is perfectly constructed in a manner that correlates with your view of a subject material.

Databases are the starting point for any analysis, not the end point, and need to be interrogated prudently and wisely with full knowledge of the subject material.

Used in this prudent way they are a great resource and a major step forward from the days when coins were simply deposited in basement coin cabinets, essentially hidden from view, and inaccessible to the public.

The interactive data analysis tools attached to the databases such as the Maps functionality are simply a first pass at screening the material in any research and make it easy for the researcher to get a feel for the aspect under interrogation and whether it is worth pursuing further in detailed analysis.

In my opinion these portals provided by the ANS for open access research by independent scholars are a fantastic new resource that open a vast array of previously inaccessible material for study, and all from the comfort of your lounge! And it is all all funded by donations supported by volunteers, so don't be hypercritical of the opportunity provided to you for true numismatic research.  

Arm chair critics abound, genuine researchers less so. As the old saying goes  "Those who can do, those who can't talk about it" and so it is with databases and their users.
All historical inquiry is contingent and provisional, and our own prejudices will in due course come under scrutiny by our successors.

Offline Altamura

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Re: Ancient Mint Maps
« Reply #6 on: February 05, 2021, 08:37:42 am »
... Early scholars classified Celtic coinages of the 1st Century BC in the "Greek" oeuvre which they clearly imitated. ...
This does perhaps explain it, but doesn't solve the problem  :-\. But in some sense you are right: It is a classification problem.

Meanwhile I found out that the ANS obviously classifies all their Celtic coins as Greeks (and the Berlin collection does it similarly). But is this state of the art? And do the users know that? The description of the database you get is quite meager :-\.

Todays numismatists don't consider Celtic coins to be Greek and therefore many users will fall into this trap. And in such a database I do not expect the classifications from centuries ago but those of today. Otherwise while searching I would have to know at what time a certain coin had been classified how by whom :-\.
And by the way: There are Celtic coins which not "clearly imitated" Greek ones, and there are a lot of Roman coins which clearly did but are classified as "Roman"  :).
And so it is perhaps no longer appropriate that Celtic coinage is subsumed under "Greek". Even if this is the tradition, at some point it is time for a change  :).

... All databases are imperfect and that is a fact of life. ...
Nice try for an excuse  :). Nearly everything is imperfect, but this should not prevent us from trying to make it better.

... It is wise to be less critical of the database and more attentive to these aspects when using any database.

Certainly, it is naive in the extreme to assume any database is perfectly constructed in a manner that correlates with your view of a subject material. ...
(Thanks for calling me naive in the extreme, I appreciate that ;).) But to avoid that, the user should know what is in and what not. If you don't have a specification you judge against your expectation. That's also a fact of life :).

... Used in this prudent way they are a great resource and a major step forward ...
I don't doubt this in any way, but a bit more of explanation and communication would help to adjust expectations and to avoid frustration or even distrust.

... Arm chair critics abound, genuine researchers less so. As the old saying goes  "Those who can do, those who can't talk about it" and so it is with databases and their users. ...
(Thanks again for the compliments ;).)
Those who can implement databases usually don't need them, and those needing them usually cannot implement them. So they have to talk :).

Regards

Altamura


 

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