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Author Topic: Using hoards like Reka Devnia as a scarcity index  (Read 124 times)

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Offline mauseus

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Using hoards like Reka Devnia as a scarcity index
« on: July 13, 2021, 01:25:06 pm »
Hi,

Re-reading Hobley's BAR volume from the 1990s on the systematic supply of aes to the provinces got me wondering, did something similar happen with the silver coinage? Can patterns of supply be identified in the same way and if so does that impact on using, say, the Reka Devnia hoard frequencies as a surrogate for rarity?

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Mauseus

Offline Ron C2

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Re: Using hoards like Reka Devnia as a scarcity index
« Reply #1 on: July 13, 2021, 01:49:37 pm »
I have not read Hobley, but I can say that for the late second and early third century coinage, in my experience, the RD figures tend to align pretty well to the the rarity levels cited in RIC, with some exceptions where a few RIC coins listed as common were in very short supply in RD.  I chalk these up to RIC errors, for the most part, because I've found RD scarcity to be pretty close to the availability of RSCs at auction and other means of sales.

My sense is that in general, RSC issues were broadly circulated and I've not noticed particular issues to have come out of certain hoard regions more prolifically, but it may be impossible to know for certain today because so few coins can be traced to their origins after decades of trading hands in modern times.

Perhaps a study of well documented hoards could shed more light.
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Offline mauseus

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Re: Using hoards like Reka Devnia as a scarcity index
« Reply #2 on: July 14, 2021, 03:04:08 am »
Hi,
Yes, I think I'll dig out my SFMA volumes from the 1990s, I recall a paper on 2nd and 3rd century denarius hoards in there that could help. Volume 10 I think it's in. It may be that if there was distinct batch supply by the mint(s) that greater mixing occurs than with the aes because of the type of transactions the coins were used for.

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Mauseus

Offline otlichnik

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Re: Using hoards like Reka Devnia as a scarcity index
« Reply #3 on: July 14, 2021, 07:56:54 am »
I have seen several studies that make it clear that the supply of silver coinage sent outside the Empire was specifically selected and therefore does not mirror the patterns found inside the Empire.

However, I don't recall seeing anything about AR supply within the Empire.

One of my long term interests has been to try to determine whether batches of AE coins from individual mints were sent to different locations en masse.  One would assume this is the case and that one could hope to track it by looking at mint marks.  For example, did a GLORIA ROMANORVM issue from Siscia with PR in the field go to Carnuntum while the issue with SR went to Aquincum?  (I just made up these hypothetical cases but you get the drift.)

However, the data in terms of hoard and find reports with mint and field marks recorded in sufficient details does not appear exist in enough quantity yet to allow such a study.

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