John Lupia also forwarded this Bryn Mawr Classical Review on another recently published book on ancient coins. Thanks again. Here's an
Jane DeRose Evans, Coins from the Excavations at Sardis: Their Archaeological and Economic Contexts: Coins from the 1973 to 2013
Excavations. Archaeological Exploration of Sardis monographs, no 13. Cambridge, MA; London: Harvard University Press, 2018. Pp. xxi, 305 p., 19
p. of plates. ISBN 9780674987258. $90.00.
Reviewed by George Watson, Goethe Universität, Frankfurt am Main (firstname.lastname@example.org)
As befits Sardis's status as the birthplace of western coinage, the publication of coin finds from the excavations there counts among
one of the best and most extensive of any site in the eastern Mediterranean. The volume under review here not only supplements three previous
publications with new material,1 but also corrects and newly analyses finds that had already been published. The aim of the book is clear both from
the title and from the introductory chapters: not simply to analyse the coins, but also to set them in context. This book will thus be of interest
not only to numismatists but also to archaeologists and economic historians.
After editorial prefaces, summaries in English and Turkish, and a brief introduction, come two substantive chapters, followed by four appendices
concerned with countermarks, monograms, reverse types of late Roman bronzes and statistical formulae, respectively. The lengthiest part of the book
is the catalogue, which lists over 8,000 coins found during excavations in Sardis between 1973 and 2013; this is supplemented with a concordance
between the catalogue and field numbers from the excavations. The nineteen high-quality plates contain illustrations of 118 coins, 11 maps and 14
The catalogue is well laid out and easy to use. There are, however, some concerns regarding Evans' dating of the Roman provincial coins, which
is either too precise or not precise enough. For coins without an imperial portrait, she pays no attention to magistrates' names, which often
allow a far more precise dating than that which she gives. For the coins of Sardis, she gives a false impression of precision. For example, coin
types 157–58 are dated in the text of RPC to "between 63 and 68", and in RPC's catalogue to "c. AD 65", which becomes for
Evans simply "65 AD". This becomes particularly problematic when one of these coins is used to give a terminus post quem of a votive
Mistakes such as these diminish confidence in the book, and its conclusions, as a whole. This is greatly to be regretted, particularly considering
that analysis of coin finds from excavations in the eastern Mediterranean lags so far behind that done on sites in northern and western Europe. That
being the case, if this book, despite its faults, can stimulate more attempts to do more with excavation coins than simply list the material, it is
to be welcomed with open arms.
To read the complete article, see:
2019.06.19 Jane DeRose Evans, Coins from the Excavations at Sardis: Their Archaeological and
Economic Contexts: Coins from the 1973 to 2013 Excavations. Archaeological Exploration of Sardis monographs, no 13.
Wayne Homren, Editor
The Numismatic Bibliomania Society is a non-profit organization
promoting numismatic literature. See our web site at coinbooks.org.
To submit items for publication in The E-Sylum, write to the Editor
at this address: email@example.com
To subscribe go to: https://my.binhost.com/lists/listinfo/esylum
Copyright © 1998 - 2012 The Numismatic Bibliomania Society (NBS)
All Rights Reserved.
NBS Home Page
Contact the NBS webmaster