Monetary Facies

Antique Monetary Facies Data Base

Celtic coins are particularly difficult to classify and date. As early as the 1970s and 1980s, an elementary descriptive system was defined in order to classify currencies (Colbert de Beaulieu 1973), recognizing the difficulty of identifying coinage and specifying attributions.

Project being finalized


- A monetary unit is composed of coins from the same region with a common iconographic theme.- It is divided into monetary series defined by a diffusion epicenter and common numismatic characteristics: weight, alloy, aloi.- The classes constitute the typological variations within each series. Composition groups and monetary corners are identified. It is then necessary to establish dies ’ links, monetary facies, percentages of classes and series represented in a specific context (hoard, site, structure, stratigraphic level, etc.)

- We then study spatial distributions by specifying the degree of homogeneity of the data sets (Gruel 1989, pp. 8-9). The links with other archaeological objects provide the opportunity to specify the contexts of discoveries, the circulation of coins, the chronology of issues.

In order to manage this documentation, the basis of "antique monetary facies" is based on these elements of description. This research database must define the monetary facies to compare the structure of different treasures, to analyze the variability from one site to another, from one stratigraphic level to another ... The originality of this base Is that we do not start from the coin but from the archaeological site and if possible from the contexts of discoveries. Then, two levels of entry of the numismatic objects are possible either individual (coins, monetary tools ...) or batch by the table facies.

The classification by coin is very classical: it defines the object in its physical components, its peculiarities, its accidents, and refers to two external tables the typological index and the geographical index. Two levels of dating can be referenced: one of circulation of the monetary object, the other of first appearance in an archaeological context which gradually allows to calibrate chronologically the emissions.

Facies entry allows you to enter monetary data by site or deposit entered at a time T from the known bibliography. On sites being excavated, t it is scalableand so we can have several facies sheets for the same site, which reflects the state of our knowledge.The Monetary Facies Base is limited to 6 main tables, to strictly answer the requirements of global data logging. These 6 tables include 3 levels of cataloging, each divided into 2 separate scales:

- Geographical index: 1.Sites, 2.Contextes
- Inventory of coins: 1. Individual coins 2. facies
- The typological index: 1. Series, 2. Classes
- The first window defines the series, the second, each monetary class. It is the description of the type and not a particular coin. This allows accurate counting and mapping at two levels.

There are 4 additional tables:
- Series_facies: an integral part of the facies table, it records individually and automatically the monetary series represented in the facies, as they are entered in the records of the facies.
- Img_coins: photographs of coins registered individually.
- Img_classes: drawings of coins by classes
- Addresses: coordinates of participants and excavators.

There are coins in the Gallic world that circulate very locally, sometimes on a site, and therefore excavations regularly show new monetary series or at least new classes. In order to keep a certain consistency in the ranking, the numbering is organized by large regions, the figures after the comma correspond to the classes. The Roman currencies are organized according to the RRC or the RIC, for example the number 30 021,07 = RRC 21/7 is a semi-ounce of aes grave (-269 / -266) and 40256,01 equal the RICI-256. (Figure 1)

Numbering of monetary series in the database

Gallic monetary series by major regions :
- 1 : Centre-Est Gaule
- 800 : Est Gaule
- 1000 : Sud-Ouest Gaule
- 1800 : Ibérie
- 2000 : Centre Gaule
- 3000 : Ouest Gaule
- 4000 : Nord Gaule
- 5000 : Sud-Est Gaule
- 8000 : Ile de Bretagne
- 8100 : Imitations de Philippe
- 9000 : Gaule indéterminée

Imitations :
Lorsque le nombre de la série est suivi, après la virgule, de 89 (ex. 40325,89), il s’agit d’une imitation.

Foreign currency series circulating in Gaul:
- 9500 : Numidie
- 10000 : Marseille
- 12200 : Est du Rhin
- 19000 : Monnaies puniques
- 20000 à 29999 : Monnaies provinciales romaines (d’après n° RPC)
- 30000 à 39999 : Monnaies républicaines romaines (d’après n° RRC)
- 40000 à … : Monnaies impériales romaines (d’après n° RIC)
- 100000 : Monde grecque

A database to establish currency allocation maps. For all our databases, we have chosen a localization by municipalities by referring to the geographical coordinate systems proposed by the European Units for Territorial Statistics (NUTS): These "NUTS" are gathered in an "Archéolocalis" table Which we have completed for the whole of Europe, which allows us to disregard the current borders.

This base is made to be collaborative. It already integrates the data collected by several researchers, hence a special effort of traceability with the identification of contributors, excavators, several identification numbers of excavation, museum, study. More than a ranking tool, it is a working tool, which is why it includes automatic counting at different levels, exports of data by list or spreadsheet, automatic catalog templates that can be refined by sorting Successively on the geographical sets and of course on the desired order of the series and the classes.
From this database it is possible to determine the function of coinage in different contexts, to show the existence of particular coins for particular uses and the evolution of their use.

This base is connected to the BaseFer developed by AOrOc and monetary broadcasting cards are gradually put online on the Atlas of the Iron Age.