The British Museum Lot of Silver from the Taranto 1911 Hoard (Inventory of Greek Coin Hoards [1973], no. 1874)

2002 The American Numismatic Society



John H. Kroll and Sebastian Heath
This electronic publication was assembled by J. H. Kroll of the University of Texas at Austin and Sebastian Heath of the American Numismatic Society. Andrew Meadows, Keeper of Greek Coins in the British Museum Department of Coins and Medals kindly arranged for the provision of photographs. The electronic scanning of the photographs was made possible through a grant from The University of Texas at Austin Office of the Vice President for Research.



Introduction

Unearthed on June 22, 1911, the hoard consisted of 6 kilos of uncoined cut-silver bullion and c. 4.2 kilos of silver coins, c. 600 coins in all. Fully four-fifths of the latter are South Italian (Metapontum, Sybaris, Croton, Velia, and Posidonia,; the remaining 121 coins came from Corcyra and 23 cities in Sicily, Thrace, Central Greece, and some Aegean islands. E. Babelon (RN 1912, 1-40) promptly published a nearly complete record of the coins together with notes on some of the unminted silver, including the end of a flat rectangular slab ingot that had been stamped with a square incuse stamp identical to those on the reverses of coins of Selinus. Close to half of the uncoined silver, including the stamped slab ingot fragment, however, has not been seen since M.P. Vlasto initially recorded the hoard in Paris and Taranto in 1911; it is assumed that this silver was lost to the melting pot.

On October 14, 1921, The British Museum Department of Coins and Metals purchased from Spinks the other half of the bullion, some 60 pieces of ingots and of worked silver with a total weight of just over 3 kilograms, in a sizable hoard lot that also included 47 coins of Metapontum, Sybaris, and Croton, most of them in chipped, broken, or extremely fragmentary condition. Although the lot includes the largest preserved assemblage of silver bullion from the ancient Greek world, it has remained unstudied and unpublished.

The decision to make this material available on the Internet was initially motivated by the unlikelihood that any journal would be interested in publishing a fully-illustrated record of these less than aesthetically pleasing chunks of metal. Internet-based publication offers its own advantages, however, and a brief discussion of these may improve the readers ability to make use of the information presented here.

In the preparation of this publication an important distinction was made between the permanent archival version of the document and the presentation of that information in an easily readable form. Hypertext Markup Language (HTML) is the formatting language of the World Wide-Web and has proven to be an immensely successful means of delivering digital content to wide audiences. Its main disadvantage, however, it is that it tends to strip documents of any information not related to their appearance on a computer screen. The formal specification of HTML is also rapidly changing and there is no guarantee that it will not be entirely superceded at some future point. This could result in HTML documents no longer being easily readable by standard applications.

In order to overcome these shortcomings of HTML, this publication uses the Extensible Markup Language (XML) as the format for its long-term, archival version. XML is an internationally recognized standard for representing the structure of documents and is easily transformed into either HTML or plain text for internet-based reading. This flexibility allows multiple versions of this document to be made available. Accordingly, it is possible to view the list of ingots, rods, and coins either with or without images directly attached. Furthermore, the list of objects have also been sorted by type then weight, as well as by weight then type. These various versions are listed below with their Uniform Resource Locators (URLs):

1 Archival XML text file http://www.numismatics.org/publications/taranto1911/taranto1911.xml
2 Text and tables with no images http://www.numismatics.org/publications/taranto1911/index.html
3 Text and tables with images http://www.numismatics.org/publications/taranto1911/indeximages.html
4 Sorted by weight and type http://www.numismatics.org/publications/taranto1911/weighttype.txt - text file for import into database or spreadsheet.
5 Sorted by type and weight http://www.numismatics.org/publications/taranto1911/typeweight.txt - text file for import into database or spreadsheet.


These brief comments are not intended as full introduction to the current state-of-the-art in digital publication of scholarly materials. Further information about XML is available at the web site of the World Wide Web Consortium. The specific tag set used by this document was developed by the Text Encoding Initiative (TEI).

As of the time of publication there is no formal standard for resolution-independent rendering of images within web-browsers. It is therefore not possible to ensure that images appear at 1:1 on reader's computer screens or on paper after printing. The resolution of the inline images that appear in the third version of this document is 60 dpi, and 150 dpi for those linked-to from the second version. The authors hope that the inclusion of scales under all images partially alleviates this problem.




A. Pieces Cut from Silver Ingots

Ingot types
F = Flat ingot (thickness relatively even), either rectangular or circular (pancake-like) in shape.
FR = Flat rectangular slab ingot (thickness relatively even).
Cake = Cake ingot: disk-shaped, plano-convex in section.
Bar = Rectangular bar ingot, plano-convex in section.


No. B.M. Acc. Weight L./W./Th. (mm.) Ingot Type Description
1. 1921-10-14-185 559.9 110/ 66/ 8-12 FR 4 edges: the 2 long ones cut, the two short ones original as cast.
spacer
spacer

spacer (c)2002 The British Museum

2. 1921-10-14--186 429.3 96/ 74/ 7 FR Slab end: 1 edge cut, 3 original edges as cast. Rough surface deeply punched with with a circular stamp(?), possibly bearing the letter Α or Δ (as recorded in the BM inventory), if in fact there is any letter in relief at all.
spacer
spacer

spacer (c)2002 The British Museum

3. 1921-10-14-187 181.4 54/ 53/ 10 FR 5 edges, of which 4 are cut.
spacer
spacer

spacer (c)2002 The British Museum

4. 1921-10-14-188 129.6 59/ 32/ 10 Cake 5 edges, of which 2 1/2 are cut. 2 incuse punches on smooth face.
spacer
spacer

spacer (c)2002 The British Museum

5. 1921-10-14-189 99.5 66/ 25/ 8 FR 4 edges, of which 3 are cut.
spacer
spacer

spacer (c)2002 The British Museum

6. 1921-10-14-190 114.7 58/ 42/ 8 Cake? 4 edges, of which 3 cut. Circular depression (from a stamp?) on the face cut across with a chisel.
spacer
spacer

spacer (c)2002 The British Museum

7. 1921-10-14-191 87.5 62/ 32/ 9 F 3 edges, of which 2 cut; one (curved) as cast.
spacer
spacer

spacer (c)2002 The British Museum

8. 1921-10-14-192 105.8 44/ 28/ 12 F 4 cut edges.
spacer
spacer

spacer (c)2002 The British Museum

9. 1921-10-14-193 80.8 51/ 30/ 7 F 4 cut edges.
spacer
spacer

spacer (c)2002 The British Museum

10. 1921-10-14-194 168.0 42/ 43/ 8 F 4 edges, of which 3 are cut.
spacer
spacer

spacer (c)2002 The British Museum

11. 1921-10-14-195 103.7 62/ 35/ 14 Bar 3 edges, of which 2 cut.
spacer
spacer

spacer (c)2002 The British Museum

12. 1921-10-14-196 136.7 45/ 26/ 18 FR Corner of thick slab: 4 edges, of which 2 are cut. Deep squarish punch on the smooth surface.
spacer
spacer

spacer (c)2002 The British Museum

13. 1921-10-14-197 66.1 38/ 46/ 7 FR Corner piece, of which 2 edges are cut.
spacer
spacer

spacer (c)2002 The British Museum

14. 1921-10-14-198 53.1 37/ 32/ 7 FR 5 edges, of which 4 cut.
spacer
spacer

spacer (c)2002 The British Museum

15. 1921-10-14-199 41.1 56/ 25/ 7 FR Corner piece, of which 1 edge is cut.
spacer
spacer

spacer (c)2002 The British Museum

16. 1921-10-14-200 53.3 49/ 29/ 15 Bar 3 edges: one original as cast, two cut with a curved chisel blade.
spacer
spacer

spacer (c)2002 The British Museum

17. 1921-10-14-201 44.7 42/ 29/ 8 FR 4 edges, of which 3 are cut.
spacer
spacer

spacer (c)2002 The British Museum

18. 1921-10-14-202 38.8 32/ 24/ 10 F 4 cut edges.
spacer
spacer

spacer (c)2002 The British Museum

19. 1921-10-14-203 33.4 32/ 24/ 8 Cake 5 edges, of which 4 are cut.
spacer
spacer

spacer (c)2002 The British Museum

20. 1921-10-14-204 52.2 42/ 18/ 11 FS Corner piece, of which 2 edges are cut.
spacer
spacer

spacer (c)2002 The British Museum

21. 1921-10-14-205 38.9 58/ 15/ 6 F 4 cut edges.
spacer
spacer

spacer (c)2002 The British Museum

22. 1921-10-14-206 36.6 42/ 14/ 8 Bar Middle section, of which the 2 long edges are cut, the two short edges are original as cast.
spacer
spacer

spacer (c)2002 The British Museum

23. 1921-10-14-207 39.5 42/ 21/ 7 F 4 cut edges.
spacer
spacer

spacer (c)2002 The British Museum

24. 1921-10-14-208 37.3 25/ 26/ 10 Bar 4 edges, of which 3 are cut.
spacer
spacer

spacer (c)2002 The British Museum

25. 1921-10-14-209 23.1 20/ 15/ 19 ? 4 edges of thick ingot cut into truncated pyramid shape .
spacer
spacer

spacer (c)2002 The British Museum

26. 1921-10-14-210 36.3 27/ 25/ 10 FS 5 cut edges.
spacer
spacer

spacer (c)2002 The British Museum

27. 1921-10-14-211 21.4 27/ 16/ 10 Bar? 4 edges, of which 3 are cut.
spacer
spacer

spacer (c)2002 The British Museum

28. 1921-10-14-212 18.1 26/ 24/ 8 F 3 cut edges.
spacer
spacer

spacer (c)2002 The British Museum

29. 1921-10-14-213 12.6 20/ 17/ 5 FS 4 edges, of which 3 are cut.
spacer
spacer

spacer (c)2002 The British Museum

30. 1921-10-14-214 18.5 27/ 13/ 14 ? 4 cut edges.
spacer
spacer

spacer (c)2002 The British Museum

31. 1921-10-14-215 34.0 26/ 19/ 14 FS 4 edges, of which the longest (with a moulded, offset profile) is original as cast .
spacer
spacer

spacer (c)2002 The British Museum

32. 1921-10-14-216 29.9 37/ 26/ 7 F 5 edges, of which 2 are original, 3 are cut, and one is roughly torn off.
spacer
spacer

spacer (c)2002 The British Museum

33. 1921-10-14-217 15.4 21/ 18/ 7 FR 5 sides. of which 3 are cut.
spacer
spacer

spacer (c)2002 The British Museum

34. 1921-10-14-218 18.3 29/ 16/ 6 FR Corner piece, of which 2 edges are cut.
spacer
spacer

spacer (c)2002 The British Museum

35. 1921-10-14-219 22.5 38/ 18/ 5 Bar Dump Whole. Chisel cut across middle.
spacer
spacer

spacer (c)2002 The British Museum

36. 1921-10-14-220 14.3 32/ 20/ 5 F Corner piece, of which 2 edges are original, 3 are cut.
spacer
spacer

spacer (c)2002 The British Museum

37. 1921-10-14-221 17.2 24/ 19/ 6-8 Cake or Bar 5 cut edges. Lines from possible grafitto on one face.
spacer
spacer

spacer (c)2002 The British Museum

38. 1921-10-14-222 14.3 22/ 14/ 8 F 4 cut edges.
spacer
spacer

spacer (c)2002 The British Museum

39. 1921-10-14-223 21.8 21/ 20/ 8-13 Cake or Bar 4 cut edges.
spacer
spacer

spacer (c)2002 The British Museum

40. 1921-10-14-224 18.5 23/ 16/ 8-10 Cake or Bar 4 cut edges.
spacer
spacer

spacer (c)2002 The British Museum

41. 1921-10-14-225 19.0 28/ 24/ 5 F 5 cut edges.
spacer
spacer

spacer (c)2002 The British Museum

42. 1921-10-14-226 11.0 21/ 16/ 7 F 5 edges, of which 4 are cut.
spacer
spacer

spacer (c)2002 The British Museum

43. 1921-10-14-227 10.0 21/ 16/ 10 Cake 3 edges, of which 2 are cut .
spacer
spacer

spacer (c)2002 The British Museum

44. 1921-10-14-228 11.8 21/ 31/ 10 ? 4 edges, of which 3 are cut; original cast edge is slightly curve with a moulded, offset profile.
spacer
spacer

spacer (c)2002 The British Museum

45. 1921-10-14-229 3.9 15/ 16/ 7 ? 4 cut facets.
spacer
spacer

spacer (c)2002 The British Museum

46. 1921-10-14-230 17.9 26/ 15/ 15 Cake 3 cut edges, from center of ingot.
spacer
spacer

spacer (c)2002 The British Museum

47. 1921-10-14-231 7.8 16/ 14/ 7 ? 4 edges, of which 3 are cut .
spacer
spacer

spacer (c)2002 The British Museum

48. 1921-10-14-232 4.3 19/ 9/ 7 F 4 edges, of which 3 are cut.
spacer
spacer

spacer (c)2002 The British Museum

49. 1921-10-14-233 4.3 18/ 8/ 5 ? 4 edges, of which 3 are cut.
spacer
spacer

spacer (c)2002 The British Museum

50. 1921-10-14-234 5.1 17/ 11/ 10 FR 4 edges, of which 3 are cut.
spacer
spacer

spacer (c)2002 The British Museum

51. 1921-10-14-235 4.4 14/ 9/ 7 ? 4 cut edges in truncated pyramid shape.
spacer
spacer

spacer (c)2002 The British Museum




B. Pieces of Worked Silver

No. B.M. Acc. Weight L./W./Th. (mm.) Description
52. 1921-10-14-240 4.32 20/ 17/ 3 Flattened disk.
spacer
spacer

spacer (c)2002 The British Museum

53. 1921-10-14-241 1.04 17/ 18/ 2 Thin rod, scored and bent in middle; scored also 2mm from one end.
spacer
spacer

spacer (c)2002 The British Museum

54. 1921-10-14-242 40.10 63/ 31/ 4-7 Thick tapering rod, bent back twice on itself.
spacer
spacer

spacer (c)2002 The British Museum

55. 1921-10-14.243 32.0 55/ 21/ 2-11 Thick, uneven rod bent and twisted.
spacer
spacer

spacer (c)2002 The British Museum

56. 1921-10-14-244 10.2 46/ 20/ 2-5 Thick tapering rod bent in two.
spacer
spacer

spacer (c)2002 The British Museum

57. 1921-10-14-245 2.78 51/ 8/ 0.7 Thin flat strip, now broken in 4 pieces.
spacer
spacer

spacer (c)2002 The British Museum




C. Coins

No. B.M. Acc. Weight L/W Description
58. 1921-10-14-236 3.24 15/8 Frag. of disfigured coin.
spacer
spacer

spacer (c)2002 The British Museum

59. 1921-10-14-237 3.88 16/10 Chopped frag. of Macedonian tribal coin: "Lete"
(Standing satyr and nymph/incuse square).
spacer
spacer

spacer (c)2002 The British Museum

60. 1921-10-14-238 4.31 21/21 Chopped coin frag. of Naxos (Kantharos/incuse square)
Not illustrated.
61. 1921-10-14-249 8.02 29/28 Wide-flan, incuse stater of Metapontum.
Intentionally scored or chisel-cut across the obverse.
spacer
spacer

spacer (c)2002 The British Museum


Not Illustrated

1921-10-14-246 - 248, 250 - 260, 269 - 278, 292, 293 26 other wide-flan, incuse staters of Metapontum (type: ear of barley ), nearly all chipped or broken in two or more fragments
1921-10-14-239, 261 - 268, 279 - 287, 290, 291 18 staters and 2 drachms of wide-flan, incuse coinage of Sybaris (type: standing bull); nearly all chipped at the edges or broken in two or more fragments
1921-10-14-288, 289 2 wide-flan, incuse staters of Croton (type: tripod), both chipped




Technical Appendix

The TEI architecture allows the basic DTD to be extended. The files tarantoextensions.ent and tarantoextensions.ent implement the extensions used here. The XSL Stylesheets used to render the html and sorted tables are index.xsl, weighttype.xsl, and typeweight.xsl.