ANS organizes symposium on early electrum coinage

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October 3, 2013 – Coinage made of electrum, the alloy of gold and silver, stands at the very beginning of the numismatic history of the western world. The earliest electrum coins have long puzzled historians and numismatists alike. What are they made of, and how? When were they made, and why? What can they tell us about the economy and society of the people who produced them? Recent work by archaeologists, numismatists, scientists, historians and economists has thrown remarkable new light on these old problems.

The symposium ‘The Beginning of Coinage. New Discoveries and Research on Early Electrum Coinage’ on November 15-16, 2013 offers members and others interested in early electrum coinage to learn more about some of these new discoveries. Papers by international experts in the field will cover a variety of aspects. These will include a discussion by the excavator of the Archaic Artemisium at Ephesus of the archaeological finds and their impact on the dating of electrum coinage; a presentation on the chemical analysis of over 100 coins from the cabinet of the Bibliothèque Nationale in Paris and the American Numismatic Society. These analyses, carried out at Centre Ernest-Babelon in Orléans and at the Field Museum in Chicago using microsampling by laser ablation, have enabled us to see more accurately than ever before the composition of the first coins. The question of why, how and when electrum was used for the first known coins will be at the center of the discussion by a series of eminent historians economists and numismatists. The symposium will conclude with discussion to which all attendees are invited to contribute.

The symposium will be accompanied by a display of electrum coins from the ANS cabinet. Coins from the ANS collection will also be available for examination. There are 35 spaces available for this event, and early booking is recommended.
Symposium participants fee for ANS Members is US$250. Symposium participants fee for Non-Members is US$300. Fee includes full participation for both days with coffee, lunch and afternoon tea included on Saturday. Dinner on Friday, 15 November is available for an optional additional fee of US$95.

Hotel room-blocks for participants are available at the nearby Hampton Inn Manhattan-Soho and the Washington Square Hotel. Please enquire early, as hotel room availability is limited.

Friday, 15th November, 2013
Registration and Introduction 1:30 pm.
First Paper 2:00 pm.
Reception for Participants 6:00 pm.
Optional Dinner at a local restaurant (cost $95)

Saturday, 16th, November 2013
Proceedings Begin at 9:30 am.
Lunch and Afternoon Tea will be served for all participants.
Symposium Concludes 6:00 pm.

Confirmed speakers
Prof. Alain Bresson, University of Chicago: The choice for electrum monometallism: when and why

Dr. Maryse Blet-Lemarquand, Centre Ernest-Babelon, Orléans / Dr. Frédérique Duyrat, Bibliothèque Nationale de France, Paris: White gold in Paris, analysis and value

Dr. Wolfgang Fischer-Bossert, Berlin: Some thoughts about the internal spread of early electrum standards:? local rather than chronological patterns?

Prof. Nicholas Cahill, University of Wisconsin, Madison, Field director, Sardis Expedition: Preliminary Analyses of Electrum Coins and Natural Gold from Sardis. (title to be confirmed)

Dr. Haim Gitler, Tamar and Teddy Kollek Chief Curator of Archaeology and Curator of Numismatics, Israel Museum, Jerusalem, and President of the Israel Numismatic Society (Presenting) / Prof. Yuval Goren, Chair, Graduate Program in Archaeomaterials, Department of Archaeology and ANE Cultures, Tel Aviv University / Prof. Oren Tal, Chairperson, Dept. of Archaeology and Ancient Near Eastern Cultures, Tel Aviv University / Dr. Koray Konuk, Institut Ausonius, CNRS – Université de BordeauxMore than Meets the Eye: XRF Analyses of 274 Electrum Coins

Dr. Michael Kerschner, Austrian Archaeological Institute, Vienna, Second director of the Ephesos excavations: The Archaeological Aspects of Electrum Coins: Chronology, Function and Cultural Background. The Case of the Artemision of Ephesus.

Dr. Peter van Alfen, ANS: The role of ‘the state’ and early electrum coinage.

Dr. François R. Velde, Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago: The Beginning of Coinage: an Economist’s View.

Dr. Ute Wartenberg, ANS: Was there an Ionian Revolt Coinage?

Dr. Andrew Meadows, ANS: Summary and Discussion.

For more information or for reservation please go to the ANS website.

We reported about the electrum congress in Jerusalem last year

… and about the exhibition.

There are also films available of the papers presented during the congress.