Coins from the “Orient” Excavation Site of the Olbian Necropolis

  • Andrii Ivchenko Junior Research Fellow of the Classical Archaeology Department, the Institute of Archaeology, the National Academy of Science of Ukraine http://orcid.org/0000-0003-1357-310X
Keywords: numismatics, dolphin-shaped coins, coins, types of burial structures, ground crypts

Abstract

Research on the “Orient” excavation site of the Olbian necropolis has been conducting for eleven years. During this time, 100 coins were found here in 47 different contexts, and 97 of them were clearly identified. The relatively small number of numismatic finds and archaeological contexts allowed a detailed analysis of the relationship between them.

The following conclusions were obtained.

  1. On this territory, coins were used in funeral and memorial rites throughout the entire existence of the necropolis here (the middle of the 6th century BC — the end of the 2nd century AD). The composition of the coins by the dates of issue basically corresponds to the main stages of the Olbian coinage.
  2. An earlier type of coin (casted dolphin-shaped) and a later type (round minted) are fixated in approximately the same number in different layers of the excavation. The main layers of the excavation were formed mainly in a natural way. This situation makes it possible to assume a fairly active usage of the coin precisely in memorial rites.
  3. Coins in situ have been found in only four types of burial structures. The time of construction of the burial objects in which the coins were found in situ is clearly divided into two periods: the middle of the 5th — beginning of the 3rd centuries BC and the second half of the 1st—2nd centuries AD. In each period, coins were placed in the grave regardless of the date of burial, the type of burial structure, age and gender of the deceased.

4. The location of the coins within the boundaries of the burial object is not unified. Often found, but not predominantly, their position in the hand (it does not matter, right or left). All other cases are individual. In funeral and memorial rites, it was allowed using a coin that was no longer in active circulation. Some coins, close in date of issue to the date of burial, even during the life of the deceased served him as «amulets».

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Published
2021-09-23
Section
Publication of Archaeological Material