From metal to coins: experiments on Greek minting techniques

Thomas Faucher
Paris-Sorbonne University, ANR - Nomisma, France

The chain of operations used by the ancients to produce and mint coins is poorly known. Few genuine dies have survived, few archeological artifacts or literary sources have come to us, which leads to a weak knowledge of the different steps necessary to make coins from metal. Fortunately, new techniques are available to us these days. On the one hand, analyses of metallic composition (by nuclear methods) give some new information on the skills of the bronze workers as well as indications of where the metal came from. On the other hand, the experimental approach is a new way for the coin specialist to test, confirm or refute hypotheses on the minting of coins, concerning both gold, silver and bronze.