Sep 11 – 16, 2022
University of Warsaw
Europe/Warsaw timezone

Challenges of creating a type corpus of early electrum coinage

Sep 12, 2022, 2:40 PM
Auditorium Maximum - Adam Mickiewicz Hall

Auditorium Maximum - Adam Mickiewicz Hall


Ute Wartenberg (American Numismatic Society)


Electrum coinages, minted from 640 BCE well into the fifth century, are usually grouped under the amorphous term of “early electrum coinage”. There are publications of a few museum catalogues and specialized collections, but no comprehensive type catalogue exists. The only monograph that offers some sort of typology of the earliest coins was written in 1975 by Liselotte Weidauer (Probleme der frühen Elektronprägung). Online coin databases have shown a way forward to how to present coin types using linked open data. In a database started a few years ago, Ute Wartenberg and Wolfgang Fischer-Bossert have begun a classification of c. 10,000 electrum coins. The challenges of creating a typology of electrum coins which are only distinguished by varying emblems but very rarely bear legends are discussed. A proposal for an iconographic structure, which uses a hierarchical organization of types, will be tested on electrum coins.

Primary author

Ute Wartenberg (American Numismatic Society)

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