Painter, Kenneth and Hunter, Fraser (2017) Hacksilber inside and outside the late Roman world: a view from Traprain Law. In: Roman Frontier Studies 2009: Proceedings of the XXI International Congress of Roman Frontier Studies (Limes Congress) held at Newcastle upon Tyne in August 2009. Archaeopress Roman Archaeology (23). Archaeopress Archaeology, Oxford, pp. 304-310. ISBN 9781784915902

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Renewed study of the hoard of late Roman Hacksilber from Traprain Law (UK) is casting fresh light on this important find and on the wider phenomenon of Hacksilber. It is increasingly clear that such finds of sub-divided, broken-up Roman silver objects are not purely a 'barbarian' phenomenon, but were a normal way of treating silver in the late Empire in the north-western provinces. This plausibly relates to economic changes, with silver used as bullion alongside coinage. Although found on both sides of the frontier, hoards from Barbaricum differ in being dominated by Hacksilber. Various possible explanations are considered - notably plunder, payment for military service, and pay-offs or political 'gifts'. While all are plausible in different instances, payment and political gifts seem to fit much of the observed data better. A 'life-cycle' approach to such hoards is proposed, following the various phases of the different vessels from production through cycles of sub-division to deposition. Such detailed studies will greatly improve our understanding of this phenomenon.

Item Type: Book Section
Subjects: C Auxiliary Sciences of History > CC Archaeology
C Auxiliary Sciences of History > CJ Numismatics
D History General and Old World > DA Great Britain
N Fine Arts > NK Decorative arts Applied arts Decoration and ornament
Theme: Material culture: creation and use
Department: Scottish History and Archaeology (from 2012)
Related URLs:
Depositing User: Ross Anderson
Date Deposited: 21 Sep 2017 14:00
Last Modified: 01 Dec 2017 16:19

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