Long Table 123. Richard Norton’s Ill-fated Excavations at Cyrene and his Coins at the ANS

In the midst of the Second World War, the ANS received two substantial donations totaling together over 600 coins. All of the coins were associated with Richard Norton, the American scholar who led a short-lived archaeological expedition in 1910-11 to Cyrene—an important archaic and classical period Greek city in North Africa. The story of his ill-fated expedition is one of murder and Italian colonialism. The coins donated to the ANS have long been assumed to be coins from the excavations proper, but recent archival work on the history of the excavations, as well as work on the coins themselves, suggests otherwise. Join ANS Chief Curator Peter van Alfen for a look at this mysterious piece of numismatic history.