The ANR PRC Celtic Brass Coins project

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A large-scale programme on brass monetary alloys throughout Gaul in the Second Iron Age, providing an unprecedented overview of these issues.


Celtic Brass Coins: Cross-referencing brass alloys in Latin culture: new perspectives on monetary practices in Celtic societies

ANR PRC 2022-2026 project (48 months) led by Sylvia Nieto-Pelletier

Project partners: UMR 7065 IRAMAT, UMR 6273 CRAHAM, Bibliothèque nationale de France, Bibracte EPCC, Musée d’Archéologie nationale, Maison des Sciences de l’homme Val de Loire

Celtic Brass Coins proposes to undertake a large-scale programme on brass alloys in Gaul during the Second Iron Age, in order to provide an unprecedented overview of these issues and the associated monetary practices, as well as to provide information on the technical choices and uses to which the introduction of this new alloy in monetary economies gave rise. Archaeometric, numismatic, archaeological, historical and spatial data will be brought together and cross-referenced, enabling us to place the introduction of brass within the dynamics specific to Celtic society and within the post-conquest political landscape that took shape in the second half of the 1st century BC.

In addition to economic, monetary and technical considerations, Celtic Brass Coins will also shed light on the role of the issuing authorities at the end of the Second Iron Age and the exchange networks that originated and/or were initiated by these productions.

With this in mind, more than 4,000 coins and 2,000 objects will be analysed using non-destructive methods in order to identify the issues concerned and initiate a wider reflection on the introduction of brass into Latin material culture. The analyses will be carried out within the most important public collections and methodological developments will be undertaken at IRAMAT on these copper alloys.

The project brings together six major players in Celtic and Roman archaeometry, archaeology and numismatics, and is helping to establish archaeometry as a fully integrated part of archaeological and historical issues.

Celtic Brass Coins is supported by  l’International Research Network NEMESIS du CNRS.