About Coins and Provenance

Coins are invaluable sources of information about the ancient world, as they reveal political values and aspirations of the people and empires that minted them. When found in situ in an archaeological site, they can help date periods of building or occupation. However, many coins in private or public collections lack "provenance." This means that we often do not know the collecting history of the object or where it was originally found (its "provenience"). This collection was donated to the University of St . Thomas in 2012 by a private collector. The coins were legally collected but lack provenance or provenience details. Nevertheless, because these objects include inscriptions and were made in multiples, we can still identify who commissioned them, why they included certain imagery and what kind of message the individual or polity wanted to convey.