Workshop: Comparing the numismatic material across modern borders

Organised by PhD student Olav Elias Gundersen and Professor Rubina Raja

Studying the past through coin material has a long tradition, and the diversity of such studies – from studies of symbolism and religion to coin use and macroeconomics – testifies to the versatility of the material and the important role it played in past societies and our perception of the past. Today, more and more of this material is made accessible through published works or digitally, for example through online databases. A better and fuller overview of the material provided by improved and accessible databases should enable scholars to expand their research of the coin material and hopefully lead to further interesting new results.

One area that seems to contain an unleashed potential through the creation of databases is comparative studies. Understanding regional differences is important, but to meaningfully compare different regions can be a frustrating endeavour – both when it comes to collecting data and to normalise them to allow for comparisons. Different national policies regarding, for example, the use of metal detectors create bodies of materials which, in several ways, are incomparable and create methodological problems for comparisons of – for instance – monetary circulation in neighbouring countries. Furthermore, lack of documentation and publication may also create a bias in some regions.

Through this workshop we wish to provide a forum for those working with numismatics to share their thoughts, ideas and experiences on comparative studies across national borders; which methodological problems such studies contain; and how to overcome them. By bringing together people working with different periods and in different areas, the idea is to discuss and arrive at theoretically well-founded ways to approach an essential problem for comparative studies across national borders.


  1. Allen, Martin (Fitzwilliam Museum, Cambridge)
  2. Gullbekk, Svein Harald (Kulturhistorisk Museum, University of Oslo)
  3. Gundersen, Olav Elias (UrbNet, Aarhus University) - organiser
  4. Hahn, Silke (Goethe-Universität, Frankfurt am Main)
  5. Horsnæs, Helle (National Museum of Denmark)
  6. Kilger, Christoph (Uppsala University)
  7. Raja, Rubina (UrbNet, Aarhus Universitet) - organiser

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