About CoinHoards

CoinHoards is a project of the American Numismatic Society co-directed by Dr. Peter van Alfen and Ethan Gruber. The web database, based on the Numishare platform, has been developed by Ethan Gruber. Its further development is generously funded by the National Endowment for the Humanities, as part of the broader Hellenistic Royal Coinages project.

Substantial work in developing CoinHoards has been done by Disnarda Pinilla, with additional work on some linked resources done by Austin Andrews.

Alan Roche designed the banner.

Statement of Completeness and Accuracy

In its current phase, the CoinHoards database is derived from the printed 1973 monograph, An Inventory of Greek Coin Hoards (IGCH). This monograph is a catalog of all known coin hoards of Greek or Greek-adjacent numismatic traditions, from the advent of electrum coinage in sixth-century Asia Minor until the ascent of the Roman Empire ca. 30 B.C. These hoard records have been reconstructed from a myriad of published and unpublished works, including archival resources, such as auction ledgers and personal correspondences. Unlike more recent Coin Hoards publications, these IGCH records are often incomplete accounts of the contents of hoards, with ranges of minimum or maximum numbers of typologies (some as simple as "silver") that comprised the hoard. We have made an attempt to represent the contents of the IGCH monograph as accurately as possible, but undoubtedly there will be errors or omissions. As a result, the distribution visualization functions (charts and CSV exports) should be considered as a general representation for hoards whose contents are relatively uncertain, rather than a ground truth for statistical analysis (in contrast to the majority of those in Coin Hoards of the Roman Republic). We plan to implement visualization cues for uncertain counts or percentages of typological categories in distribution analyses eventually. The visualization functionality is dependent on the d3js Javascript library, which does support "confidence" visualization.

This database is heavily dependent on the Linked Open Data standards and vocabularies defined by the Nomisma.org numismatic community. All people, corporate entities, denominations, mints, etc., in IGCH were linked to concepts defined in Nomisma.org. This facilitates the mapping of mints and the indexing of the geographic hierarchy of these places, enabling users to find all hoards with coins from Syria or Attica, more generally. Furthermore, Nomisma enables the indexing of dynasties and corporate entities related to individuals (e.g., Seleucus I is part of the Seleucid Dynasty and Seleucid Empire) in the browse page, making it possible to perform general queries for any hoard containing the coins of the Seleucids, independent of the particular king. These are significant advances in querying and visualization of Greek coin hoards.

A number of Ptolemaic coin hoards contained references to J. N. Svoronos' 1904–1908 type reference, Ta nomismata tou kratous ton Ptolemaion . This typology has subsequently been published as Linked Open Data and mapped to Volume I of Catharine Lorber's Coins of the Ptolemaic Empire, which is represented in another ANS-developed and NEH-funded resource, Ptolemaic Coins Online (PCO). As a result, these Svoronos references in IGCH have been mapped to URIs from PCO, enabling the extraction of higher quality and more complete typological metadata from that online corpus. The deity facet on the browse page is populated exclusively from the deities of Ptolemaic coinage (which is why the list is very obviously incomplete).

Other online typologies post-date the publication of IGCH, e.g., those found in PELLA and SCO. Other numismatic partners are working on typologies in other areas of Greek civic coinage. Over time, gaps in the CoinHoards database will be filled with the type URIs from other digital corpora, greatly enhancing the completeness of our database.

To reiterate, the CoinHoards database is a reflection of 1973's IGCH. It is not the end of this project, but rather the beginning of a completely new type of resource.