Archaeological Numismatist

Category: Publication news (Page 1 of 3)

Rethinking Roman Worcester: new publication for November 2022

Hot on the heels of last month’s articles in the Worcestershire Recorder, I’m pleased to share news of a new article by me in the 2022 Transactions of the Worcestershire Archaeological Society!

Entitled ‘Coinage and conquest: numismatic evidence for a Roman military presence at Worcester’, my article reconsiders the long-debated ‘Worcester fort’ in light of nearly 3000 single finds of Roman coins from the county.

The analysis shows that Worcester has produced significantly more early Roman coins, particularly of the Claudio-Neronian and early Flavian coins, than most other parts of Worcestershire. Importantly, statistical testing demonstrates that this cannot be down to random chance. While this is intrinsically interesting in light of documented military activity in the region at this period, it becomes significantly more important when seen at the site level: the closest parallels for Worcester’s coin loss profile aren’t civilian small towns, but are actually military-turned-civilian settlements like Exeter and London.

AV aureus of Claudius, AD 51-2 (Public domain, courtesy of the American Numismatic Society)

Placed alongside the evidence of militaria, road patterns, and post-Roman place names, the numismatic results make a strong case for identifying Worcester as the site of an as-yet-undiscovered Roman fort. Quite where it might be remains unknown, but the distribution of coins and military metalwork suggest that, as at York, Worcester’s Roman fort could lie beneath a medieval cathedral.

If this sounds intriguing, why not have a look yourself? To purchase a copy of the Transactions, get in touch with the Worcestershire Archaeological Society.

For a full list of my publications to date, check out the ‘Publications’ page on this website.

Some Worcestershire treasures: new publications for October 2022

The new issue of the Worcestershire Recorder has landed through my letterbox, and features a great selection of pieces exploring the county’s fascinating archaeology and local history – including two articles by yours truly!

The first article takes a fresh look at an enigmatic gold coin found during building work in Worcester in November 1859. While the coin can no longer be traced, written sources allow us to identify it as a cruzado of Manuel I of Portugal (1495-1521). These coins were legal tender in the mid-Tudor period, but are exceptionally rare as archaeological finds, with just 20 examples recorded across all of England and Wales. The Worcester cruzado fits within the existing distribution pattern, which has a south-western skew that reflects the role of the Bristol Channel as a hub of 16th-century Anglo-Iberian trade.

The second article is co-authored with my good friend Kate Potter-Farrant, and presents the results of fieldwork by the North Worcestershire Archaeology Group (NWAG) at Furnace Farm, Shelsley Walsh, in 2017. These investigations revealed activity dating from the Roman period to the present day, including the remains of two 18th- to 20th-century labourers’ cottages and post-medieval ironworking waste. The article builds on Kate’s incredible work on the finds assemblage, undertaken as part of her degree in Archaeology and Heritage Studies at the University of Worcester, and casts new light on a site excavated by a top-tier community group.

So why not have a look? To purchase a copy of the Worcestershire Recorder, get in touch with the Worcestershire Archaeological Society.

For a full list of my publications to date, check out the ‘Publications’ page on this website.

A Civil War hoard from Hampshire: new publication for September 2022

We’re now in September, and I’m pleased to share news of another article I’ve written that’s out in the wild!

This one appears in the Autumn 2022 Newsletter of the Hampshire Field Club & Archaeological Society. It reviews the evidence for a previously unnoticed hoard of Civil War-era silver coins found at Mousehole, nr Southampton, in May 1889. The hoard is an interesting one, consisting of shillings and sixpence hidden in a leather bag or purse some time after 1638. The article explores the circumstances of its burial in the light of other Civil War hoards from Hampshire, and suggests that it represents a stash of ‘ready money’ hidden just before the outbreak of war in August 1642.

So why not have a look? To get your hands on a copy, contact the Hampshire Field Club & Archaeological Society via their website.

For a full list of my publications to date, check out the ‘Publications’ page on this website.

Roman coins from Southwark: new publication for August 2022

The latest edition of the Surrey Archaeological Collections has just been published, and features a report by me on Roman coins excavated at the Science Gallery on the Kings College London Guy’s Campus.

KCL Guy’s Campus (©FormerBBC via Wikimedia Commons, CC BY-SA 4.0)

The Science Gallery site was excavated by Pre-Construct Archaeology Ltd in 2016-17, and the site report by Alistair Douglas contains some fantastic evidence for activity on the south bank of the Thames from prehistory to the present day. During the Roman period the site was drained and repurposed for agricultural and industrial use, but prolonged flooding left it largely abandoned between the later 4th and 13th centuries.

My section of the report focuses on the coins from the site, nearly all of which are associated with late Roman activity. They include a small hoard of seven bronze nummi hidden or lost in horticultural soil in c.367-78. This is the first Valentinianic bronze hoard to be found in London and Southwark, and one of only three known from the whole of Greater London. The hoard is a fascinating snapshot of currency in circulation on the south bank of Roman Londinium, and provides strong evidence for a continued need for small change at a time of percieved ‘urban decline’.

If any of this interests you, why not have a look? To order your copy, visit the website of the Surrey Archaeological Society

For a full list of my publications to date, check out the ‘Publications’ page on this website.

Elizabethan treasures from Surrey: new publication for July 2022

I’ve just got my hands on a copy of the February 2022 edition of Surrey’s Past, the new-look version of the Surrey Archaeological Society’s (SyAS) venerable Bulletin. This issue contains fascinating insights into the ongoing SyAS excavations at Cock’s Farm, Abinger, new thoughts on the Anglo-Saxon cemetery at Guildown, and much else inbetween, including a short note by me on the Pirbright hoard of Elizabethan silver coins.

Discovered in 1844 but long since lost, the Pirbright hoard was previously unknown to scholarship, but can be carefully reconstructed through archival research. It consisted of c.120 silver coins of Elizabeth I, and was hidden far away from prying eyes on the edge of Pirbright Common in 1567-71. The article explores the find in the context of hoards and money in Tudor Surrey, and suggests that it might represent the household savings of a prosperous yeoman farmer from the local area.

So why not have a look? You can download the article directly here, or read the entire issue via the SyAS website.

For a full list of my publications to date, check out the ‘Publications’ page on this website.

Money from Machynlleth: new publication for July 2022

Lately I’ve been busy traversing the complex world of ‘small change’ in 19th-century Britain, so I’m delighted to share news of an article I’ve had published in the latest Token Corresponding Society Bulletin.

This article reports on a previously-unnoticed hoard found during repairs at Parliament House (Senedd-dŷ), Machynlleth, in 1909. Buried in the mid- to late 1810s, the hoard contained 14 copper coins and tokens, and almost certainly represents the contents of a small change purse hidden or lost when the building was used as a granary and ‘miserable dwelling-house’ in the Regency era.

Parliament House (Senedd-dŷ), Machynlleth, in c.1816 (public domain)

The hoard offers a fascinating glimpse of the state of the currency in everyday circulation: a mix of genuine and counterfeit Georgian halfpence,  new and old private tokens from Glamorgan and Worcester, and even a far-flung copper struck for the Canadian Provinces. The distance that these objects travelled before their deposition illustrates the remarkable growth of inter-regional economic integration during the Industrial Revolution, pursued across thousands of miles of new turnpike roads and canals.

So why not have a look? To purchase a copy, get in touch with the Token Corresponding Society.

For a full list of my publications to date, check out the ‘Publications’ page on this website.

Get into the groove: two new publications for April 2022

The Spring 2022 issue of the Worcestershire Recorder has just hit the shelves, and contains a whole host of fascinating articles on archaeology and history in the county. It’s also got two little articles by me – both on radically different topics!

The first article is a co-authored piece with Richard Lloyd from the University of Worcester, and discusses our recent research into the mysterious ‘groove marks’ that cover large swathes of the church of St John in Bedwardine, Worcester. Drawing on the work of James Wright, we reject the claim that these are ‘arrow marks’ from medieval archers, and instead suggest that they reflect the removal of ‘holy dust’ for use in medieval and early modern folk remedies.

Groove marks at St John in Bedwardine (© Murray Andrews)

The second article discusses a small group of clay tobacco pipes from Astley that had been donated to the North Worcestershire Archaeology Group. The assemblage spans the 17th to 19th centuries, and offers a snapshot of the shifting market for tobacco in post-medieval and modern Worcestershire.

So why not have a look? To purchase a copy, get in touch with the Worcestershire Archaeological Society.

For a full list of my publications to date, check out the ‘Publications’ page on this website.

A haul of hoards: new publications for March 2022

Members of the British Numismatic Society will have by now received copies of the 2021 edition of the British Numismatic Journal, which features three new articles I’ve written on medieval and early modern coin hoards.

‘Three Tudor hoards containing continental gold coins’, British Numismatic Journal, 91 (2021), 115-125.

The first article discusses three previously-unrecorded coin hoards from Tudor England. Notably, each hoard contains gold coins struck in continental Europe, a fascinating phenomenon most recently discussed by Richard Kelleher. Aside from their numismatic interest, the hoards have some interesting archaeological and historical associations: one find from the River Thames near Lambeth Palace was probably lost by a traveller taking the famous Horseferry to Westminster, while the likely owners of the two hoards from Southampton and Pendock can be traced in historical records.

View across the River Thames towards Lambeth Palace (Image © Tagishsimon for Wikimedia Commons, CC BY-SA 3.0)

The two other articles also record coin hoards. On describes an 1859 discovery of coins of Henry I and Stephen hidden at Dalton-in-Furness during the twelfth-century ‘Anarchy’, while the other gives summary listings of 47 medieval and post-medieval coin hoards reported under the Treasure Act 1996 by December 2020.

All in all, plenty of material to whet your numismatic whistle! To purchase a copy, get in touch with the BNS via their website.

For a full list of my publications to date, check out the ‘Publications’ page on this website.

Tokens of ‘E. Brewer Claines’: new article for December 2021

Father Coinmas has come early this year, and he has brought his nichest gift yet – a brand new article on the tokens of ‘E. Brewer Claines’ in the Bulletin of the Token Corresponding Society.

Token of E. Brewer of Claines (Image © Murray Andrews)

These tokens turn up pretty often on the coin trade – so frequently, in fact, that nearly 750 of the things were sold in a single lot just a couple of years ago. But despite this, there’s never really been any research into who ‘E. Brewer’ was, and when and why they had these tokens made. My article identifies ‘E. Brewer’ as Edwin Tomes Brewer (1872-1936), an Evesham-born greengrocer and market gardener, and suggests that they were used as tallies to monitor piece-work out in his fields.

So if you fancy a dive into the world of tokens and tallies in early 20th-century England, why not give it a read? To purchase a copy, get in touch with the Society via their website.

For a full list of my publications to date, check out the ‘Publications’ page on this website.

Roman coins from Badsey: new publication for November 2021

The postman has been busy delivering the Autumn 2021 issue of the Worcestershire Recorder, which features interesting pieces on medieval church goods at Ripple and Pershore, the impact of the American Revolutionary War on Kidderminster, and a short article by me on Roman coins from Badsey.

The article records two hitherto unnoticed 4th-century coins from the A.E. Jones collection at Worcester City Art Gallery and Museum. This is an amazing set of fieldwalking material collected in the early to mid-20th century, which I have previously discussed in an article in the 2018 Transactions of the Worcestershire Archaeological Society. The two new coins are an important addition to our understanding of Roman rural settlement in the Vale of Evesham, an important farming district in the west of Roman Britain.

So why not have a look? To purchase a copy, get in touch with the Society via their website.

For a full list of my publications to date, check out the ‘Publications’ page on this website.

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