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

"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includes the largest preserved assemblage of silver bullion from the ancient Greek world, it has remained unstudied and unpublished.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..."

Author(s):  Kroll, John H.; Heath, Sebastian
Format:  Article
Publisher:  The American Numismatic Society
Publication City:  New York
Date:  2002