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The Economy of Pompeii$
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Miko Flohr and Andrew Wilson

Print publication date: 2016

Print ISBN-13: 9780198786573

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: January 2017

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198786573.001.0001

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Re-evaluating Pompeii’s Coin Finds

Re-evaluating Pompeii’s Coin Finds

Monetary Transactions and Urban Waste in the Retail Economy of an Ancient City

(p.293) 10 Re-evaluating Pompeii’s Coin Finds
The Economy of Pompeii

Steven J. R. Ellis

Oxford University Press

This chapter by Steven J. R. Ellis explores the analytical possibilities of the coin evidence gathered in his excavation of the two house blocks surrounding the lowest stretch of the Via Stabiana, close to the main city gate on the south side of Pompeii. Ellis observes that his coins, even though many come from shops, were mostly found in construction layers, not in deposits suggesting coin loss; as a consequence, he argues that, rather than as a proxy for retail activities, coin finds should, in the first place, be associated with building activity. Thus, in the Porta Stabia area, coin finds can be used to highlight a commercial ‘boom’ in the Augustan period. At the same time, coin finds may reveal a story about coin circulation in earlier periods, such as, in this case, a massive increase in monetary exchange in the decades preceding the Augustan period.

Keywords:   Augustan period, coins, excavation, Pompeii, retail

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