December 17, 2015 – The American Numismatic Society (ANS) has launched its latest digital platform, PELLA, an important new research tool for ancient Greek numismatics that provides a comprehensive, easily accessible online catalogue of the coinage produced by the kings of the Macedonian Argead dynasty (c.700-310 BC).
Cataloguing the individual coin types of the kings from Alexander I (ruled 498-454 BC), the first of the Macedonian kings to strike coins, down to Philip III Arrhidaeus (ruled 323-317 BC), PELLA allows users to conduct research on specific types, view examples from multiple collections, conduct statistical analyses of weight and other measurement data, and see maps of where the type was minted and where examples have been found in hoards.
As a linked data project, PELLA connects to the relevant pages within the ANS’s collection website, MANTIS, as well as Inventory of Greek Coin Hoards Online, and incorporates material from other public collections. The current version of PELLA provides links to examples of the coinage (in the name) of Alexander the Great and Philip III Arrhidaeus present in the ANS collection, the Münzkabinett of the State Museums of Berlin, and the British Museum totaling nearly 10,000 examples of individual coins. The current version of PELLA uses the numbering system and typology originally created and published by Martin Price in The Coinage in the Name of Alexander the Great and Philip Arhidaeus, London 1991, with the addition of modifications that greatly enhance the volume’s usefulness as an online resource.
PELLA is made possible by stable numismatic identifiers and linked open data methodologies established by the Nomisma.org project. Coin type data are made available with an Open Database License.
Dr. Peter van Alfen, Margaret Thompson Associate Curator of Greek Coins, commented on the announcement. “The Macedonian kings of the Argead dynasty struck arguably the most influential coinages of the ancient Greek world, so it’s appropriate that our first digital project in Greek numismatics focuses on their coinage. We also wanted to provide a specific platform for facilitating research on their coinages, particularly since the ANS holds one of the largest and most important collections of Argead coinage in the world. By being able to link to other important collections, the research potential is significantly enhanced. The ANS is committed to enhancing its online presence and digitizing its collection – PELLA is another example of our progress, and we are proud it well help educate those with general numismatic interest as well as academic researchers.”
To learn more about the ANS’s activities go to the ANS website.
If you are interested in learning something about Northern greek town Pella, check out part 10 of our Numismatic diary of a Journey throughout Greece.