AR3R11-Coins, Power and Society in the Late Iron Age and Early Roman World

Module Provider: Archaeology
Number of credits: 20 [10 ECTS credits]
Level:6
Terms in which taught: Spring term module
Pre-requisites:
Non-modular pre-requisites:
Co-requisites:
Modules excluded:
Module version for: 2017/8

Module Convenor: Dr John Creighton

Email: j.d.creighton@reading.ac.uk

Summary module description:
This module aims to provide students with an understanding of the whole variety of what ‘money’ is, mainly using case studies from the realm of Celtic and early Roman coinage. This will be in the context of learning ways numismatists have used coin data to create narratives about the past. By the end of the course all students should be able to critically evaluate these narratives, and the methodologies behind them. A secondary aim is to develop an awareness of the scale of the contemporary market in these artefacts, and the ethical issues therein.

Aims:
This module aims to provide students with an understanding of the whole variety of what ‘money’ is, mainly using case studies from the realm of Celtic and early Roman coinage. This will be in the context of learning ways numismatists have used coin data to create narratives about the past. By the end of the course all students should be able to critically evaluate these narratives, and the methodologies behind them. A secondary aim is to develop an awareness of the scale of the contemporary market in these artefacts, and the ethical issues therein.

Assessable learning outcomes:
By the end of the module it is expected that the student will be able:
• to identify, discuss and explain the main trends and changes in coinage in the two centuries BC/AD. • to assess the character and quality of archaeological data that can be obtained from coinage (the objects themselves and their context) • to demonstrate an understanding of how numismatics engages with other disciplines, and a critical awareness of the diversity of sources used by them • to recognise and appraise past and current interpretative approaches to the subject • to locate, extract and assemble data and information with minimal guidance • to follow up, independently via self-study, topics and questions raised in class discussions • to organise material in order to articulate an argument effectively, both under timed conditions and in assessed essays, and orally in seminar discussions and presentations.• to develop ethical awareness of the issues involved in the trade in portable antiquities.

Additional outcomes:
The module also encourages the development of oral, team-working and problem-solving skills, and students may also enhance observational skills recording and identifying coinage, and their numeracy skills by manipulation of some coin-find and metallurgical data.

Outline content:
This module both deals with a class of material, coinage, but uses examples particularly drawn from the late Iron Age and early Roman worlds. The sessions will explore four main themes: (1) the purpose and use of coin – following different origin myths relating to the invention of coinage from early Greek sources to modern economists imaginings; (2) coin, ritual and morality – drawing on ethnographic examples of monetary use and looking at the deposition of coin on temple sites; (3) metallurgical analyses and debasement – examining ritual associations with various types of metal, and the debasement of coin; (4) economic reconstruction using coin evidence – examining the various quantitative ways numismatists have tried to reconstruct the money supply and movement of coin.

Recommended Reading
R - C. Howgego, 1995. Ancient History From Coins: Routledge.
R - A. Burnett, 1987. Coinage in the Roman World: Seaby .
R - P.J.Casey, 1986. Understanding Ancient Coins, Batsford.
R - J. Creighton, 2000. Coins and Power in Late Iron Age Britain, CUP.

Global context:
This module explores diverse cultural approaches to money in both contemporary and ancient settings. It also explores the present-day legal and illicit international coin trade.

Brief description of teaching and learning methods:
Each week will comprise of a two-hour illustrated introductory and linking lectures with a series of seminar presentations based on reading assignments. There will also be a weekly one-hour session which is for workshops developing the written assignment project to give continuous formative feedback and peer support throughout the term.

This is a 20 credit module, which means that it is intended to occupy you for 200 hours of work: seminar preparation, background reading, essay reading, writing, and in the case of the undergraduates: revision and sitting the examination. With that in mind you might like to think to your self-study time as follows: 30 hours in formal classes; 40 hours engaged in reading and note taking from ‘key texts’ for each week; 50 hours background research and reading for Assignment 1 (report); 80 hours background research and reading for Assignment 2 (essay).

Contact hours:
  Autumn Spring Summer
Lectures 20
Seminars 10
Guided independent study 170
       
Total hours by term 200.00
       
Total hours for module 200.00

Summative Assessment Methods:
Method Percentage
Written assignment including essay 90
Oral assessment and presentation 10

Other information on summative assessment:
One 3000 word essay (50%)
One coursework assessment (40%)
Seminar presentation and participation (10%)

Formative assessment methods:
One-third of the sessions are devoted to formative discussion and feedback on the assignments being undertaken. Immediate oral feedback will be given after student presentations.

Penalties for late submission:
The Module Convenor will apply the following penalties for work submitted late, in accordance with the University policy.

  • where the piece of work is submitted up to one calendar week after the original deadline (or any formally agreed extension to the deadline): 10% of the total marks available for the piece of work will be deducted from the mark for each working day (or part thereof) following the deadline up to a total of five working days;
  • where the piece of work is submitted more than five working days after the original deadline (or any formally agreed extension to the deadline): a mark of zero will be recorded.

  • The University policy statement on penalties for late submission can be found at: http://www.reading.ac.uk/web/FILES/qualitysupport/penaltiesforlatesubmission.pdf
    You are strongly advised to ensure that coursework is submitted by the relevant deadline. You should note that it is advisable to submit work in an unfinished state rather than to fail to submit any work.

    Length of examination:

    Requirements for a pass:
    A mark of 40% overall.

    Reassessment arrangements:
    Re-submission of written coursework will take place in August/September.

    Additional Costs (specified where applicable):
    1) Required text books:
    2) Specialist equipment or materials:
    3) Specialist clothing, footwear or headgear:
    4) Printing and binding:
    5) Computers and devices with a particular specification:
    6) Travel, accommodation and subsistence:

    Last updated: 31 March 2017

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