Curated by: Dr. Spencer Pope, McMaster University, Department of Greek and Roman Studies, with Cassius Di Maria, Maia Fiorelli, Chris He, Tommy Tripp, and Marshall Zuckerman
Greek and Roman coinage occupy a unique place within ancient Mediterranean material culture. The economic function of coinage necessitated millions of specimens, all of which had to be easily recognizable and conform to a standard weight. These specifications were met through a production technique that created seemingly identical items in great quantities and in a short period of time. Blank pieces of gold, silver, or bronze were struck with a hammer to create impressions from a set of dies that resulted in images, called types, on both sides of the coin.
Crossing Borders examines numismatic connections across time and place and presents similarities in materiality, design, and style that derive from the specific needs of coinage. This display invites you to focus on the practical and aesthetic considerations made by the coin’s issuing authority.