Cristina Cicali – Coins, Archaeometallurgy and Archaeometry: the Numismatic Research

Where does the silver used to mint coins for Kings and Emperors and circulating in Tuscany between the 7th and the 12th century come from?

Did the district of the Colline Metallifere, located in the regions western center and rich in polymetallic sulphide deposits, play a role in the mining of silver for coinage during the Medieval period?

The work carried out by Cristina Cicali, research grant assignee in the ERC nEU-Med project, aims at answering these very questions. By conducting an in-depth survey of the finds from Vetricella as well as numismatic assemblages from other excavations or museum collections, Cristina catalogued circa 200 coins, initiating also a detailed sampling of select finds for archaeometric analysis. These included p-XRF, SEM-EDS and isotopic investigation, the latter in an attempt to trace the origin of the silver ore. Experimental archaeology constitutes the last phase of this research. The aim is to re-create different copper-silver alloys in planchets with an analogous composition to the examined coins, allowing to analyze the different internal textures of the alloys resulting from the various production techniques employed.