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Silver in Antiquity
Definition by Mark Cartwright

Silver in Antiquity

Silver had great value and aesthetic appeal in many ancient cultures where it was used to make jewellery, tableware, figurines, ritual objects and rough-cut pieces known as hacksilver which could be used in trade or to store wealth. The metal...
The Silver of the Conquistadors
Article by Mark Cartwright

The Silver of the Conquistadors

The Spanish conquistadors might have gained a lasting reputation as the great gold-seekers of history, but they were actually far more successful in acquiring silver. Over 100 tons of gold were extracted from the Americas from 1492 to 1560...
Interview: Living in Silverado: Secret Jews in the Silver Mining Towns of Colonial Mexico
Interview by James Blake Wiener

Interview: Living in Silverado: Secret Jews in the Silver Mining Towns of Colonial Mexico

Professor Emeritus David Gitlitz is one of the world’s leading experts on Jewish-Catholic interactions in Iberia and the Americas. While initially drawn to the literature of the Spanish Golden Age as a student at Oberlin and Harvard, the...
Gold in Antiquity
Definition by Mark Cartwright

Gold in Antiquity

Gold, chemical symbol Au (from the Latin aurum meaning 'shining dawn'), is a precious metal which has been used since antiquity in the production of jewellery, coinage, sculpture, vessels and as a decoration for buildings, monuments and statues...
Carthaginian Coinage
Definition by Mark Cartwright

Carthaginian Coinage

The coinage of Carthage was first minted from the 5th century BCE. Initially adopting the drachma, the Carthaginians later minted silver shekel coins. Designs were instantly recognisable, as intended, and included famous figures such as Hannibal...
Ancient Greek Coinage
Definition by Mark Cartwright

Ancient Greek Coinage

The coinage of ancient Greece has given us some of the most recognisable images from antiquity as they were stamped with designs to proudly declare the identity of the city which minted them and guarantee their value. One of the great archaeological...
The Importance of the Lydian Stater as the World's First Coin
Article by Everett Millman

The Importance of the Lydian Stater as the World's First Coin

The Lydian Stater was the official coin of the Lydian Empire, introduced before the kingdom fell to the Persian Empire. The earliest staters are believed to date to around the second half of the 7th century BCE, during the reign of King Alyattes...
Copper in Antiquity
Definition by Mark Cartwright

Copper in Antiquity

Copper was probably the first metal used by ancient cultures, and the oldest artefacts made with it date to the Neolithic period. The shiny red-brown metal was used for jewellery, tools, sculpture, bells, vessels, lamps, amulets, and death...
Follow the Money.  The Coinage of Later Imperial Rome:  A Reflection of Economic Stress and Decline
Article by Daniela Castanotto

Follow the Money. The Coinage of Later Imperial Rome: A Reflection of Economic Stress and Decline

Unlike the practice of professional numismatists, I prefer to see the “big picture”. So, my entire Roman coin collection, all 250 pieces, from Julius Caesar to Valentinian III is laid out on a single pane of glass in a cabinet, in chronological...
Carthaginian Trade
Article by Mark Cartwright

Carthaginian Trade

The Carthaginians, like their Phoenician forefathers, were highly successful traders who sailed the Mediterranean with their goods, and such was their success that Carthage became the richest city in the ancient world. Metals, foodstuffs...
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