July 6, 2017

We continue with CNT!!

The team of CNT is very happy to announce that we keep going on with CNT for another three years from now on. Thanks to a second funding period granted by the DFG (Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft) we are now able to improve our database. Our plan is to develop a type catalogue for the ancient Thracian coins. We look forward to another three years of research on Thracian coins and to cooperation with all of you!

Thrace is an ancient region distinguished by 800 years of interesting coinage which includes a rich variety of types. The goal of the project, funded by the German Research Foundation (Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft) from 2012 until 2015, was the development of a numismatic web portal. Thracian coins found in museums and private collections throughout the world have been virtually collected in this online database that is free and open to the public. The portal is initially based on the collection of plaster casts from the research project for Greek coins (Griechisches Münzwerk) at the Berlin Brandenburg Academy of Sciences and Humanities together with the coin collection from the Berlin Münzkabinett. Additionally, it is possible for museums and collections as well as for private persons to digitally document and publish their collections through the portal. This digital publication, including a recognizable reference number, image, weight, and repository information, is an effective measure that can be taken to protect ancient cultural heritage. An important feature of this database consists of the development of a program enabling us to reconstruct the monetary system of an antique region including the reconstruction of the dies. Not the single coin but the die regained by means of analyzing the coins provides the necessary information for the comprehension of the peculiarity of the coin emissions. After recording the single coins and, as far as possible, the dies used for striking them during the first phase of the project, we subsequently intend to develop a Thracian typology of coins during the current three-year period of foundation by the German Research Foundation (Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft) which has launched in 2017. This typology is about to become a significant milestone within the international efforts to establish a type repository for ancient Greek coins (, realized under the auspices of the International Numismatic Council. In terms of developing such a typology a consequent subdivision in landscapes and a cooperative collaboration is indispensable. A type is generated by design and legend on the obverse and reverse of a coin in combination with the nominal and the monetary standard. But which variations of motif and legend are possible within the very same defined type? How shall we differentiate between type and variant? These questions have to be generally clarified in terms of Greek numismatics and the result has to be transferred to Thracian coins. In this project the process of classification shall not only be supported by means of IT, but also be formalized and specified by clear rules. Thereby we intend to establish transparency and clarity and thus facilitate the development of this process even beyond Thracia. By developing a typology of Thracian coins the opportunity arises to determine the coinage within the findings accordingly. In this manner we obtain a temporal and spatial circulation of types and motives. This circulation shall be visualized with maps and timelines in the portal, since in many cases visualization enables us to recognize new references between the data. For the usage of metrological parameters analysis tools in terms of diagrams and frequency tables are planned to be integrated into the database. The intended mapping of MySQL database to RDF aims for the linkage with other data portals.

Author: Angela Berthold