Long Table No. 117. The Dacian Kosons: A 500 Years Gold Rush Phenomenon

Friday, November 18
1:00 PM ET

Join Prof. Dr. Cristian Gazdac, Head of the Doctoral School of International Relations and Security Studies at the University of Cluj-Napoca and member of the Romanian Academy, for a presentation on the Dacian gold “coins” known as the Kosons or the Koson types. The odyssey of this so-called “coinage” made its way into history with the discovery of over 40,000 of these types found in the Strei River hoard in the late 1500s. Questions related to their findspot, broader archaeological context, associations with the even more famous Dacian bracelets, and speculations on “gold curses” have been raised in the subsequent centuries. Popular media and scholars have variously interpreted these objects as votive offerings, mercenary payment, and, even, one of the reasons that the Roman emperor Trajan conquered the Dacian realm following fiercely fought wars in 101-102 and 105-106 BCE. The paper will present this type and the “gold rush” at the beginning of the 2000s to the only archaeological site where they have been discovered since the sixteenth century. The paper will also present the surprise of the last two decades: silver Koson types.