Barbican Research Associates
providing an integrated post-excavation service for the archaeological community
The study of material culture in the Roman world, in particular the production and use of coinage, is one of my main areas of interest. Like my colleagues at Barbican, I believe that artefacts - coinage, pottery, jewellery, glass etc. - have a great deal to tell us about past societies, and that we cannot fully appreciate how people in the past saw themselves and the world around them without understanding the objects they made, used and lost.
I have catalogued several Roman coin hoards and in 2005 published the study of the 15,234 late Roman gold and silver coins from the Hoxne Treasure.
Iron Age & Roman Coins from Wales is a research project that aims to explore the impact of Roman coinage on the diverse populations of this part of western Britain from the first century BC to the fifth century AD. The dataset includes details of 52,813 coins (the vast majority of which are Roman) from 1172 separate finds, including excavated assemblages, hoards, single finds and museum collections. The complete IARCW database is available through the Archaeology Data Service/AHDS Archaeology website and is accompanied by a volume of the same title (Guest, P. and Wells, N. 2007 Iron Age & Roman Coins from Wales. Wetteren: Collection Moneta, 66).
My work with coins extends to the less glamorous, but equally interesting, world of excavated assemblages and I have written numerous coin reports for archaeological consultancies, units and trusts.
I am currently directing two research projects on the site of the legionary fortress at Caerleon, including geophysical surveys (Mapping Isca) and the large-scale excavation of a legionary store building. However, while I tend to concentrate on the archaeology of Roman Britain, I have also worked on prehistoric and medieval material, as well as sites in other parts of the ancient world.
For more information, see my page on the Cardiff University website.
I am currently Senior Lecturer in Roman Archaeology at the Cardiff School of History & Archaeology, Cardiff University, a post I have held since 2000. In the past I worked as a freelance archaeologist and numismatist and managed the Roman Legionary Museum in Caerleon.
I am a Fellow of the Society of Antiquaries of London, Honorary Research Fellow at the National Museum Wales, and a Trustee of the Glamorgan-Gwent Archaeological Trust. I also chair the Archaeology Committee for the Society for the Promotion of Roman Studies.
2015 ‘The hoarding of Coins in Roman Britain’, in: R. Bland and J. Naylor (eds), Hoarding and Deposition of Metalwork: a British Perspective. BAR British Series, Vol. 615. Oxford: Archaeopress, 101-116.
2014 ‘The hoarding of Roman Gold and Silver in Fifth Century Britain’, in: S. Moorhead and R. Collins (eds), The End of Roman Britain, AD 410 in 2010. London: Society for the Promotion of Roman Studies, 117-129.
2012 ‘The Production, Supply and Use of Late Roman and Early Byzantine Copper Coinage in the Eastern Empire’, Numismatic Chronicle 172, 105-31.
2012 ‘Scientific Examination of Siliqua Copies and Forgeries from the Hoxne Treasure’, in: ‘Metallurgy in Numismatics 5’, Numismatic Chronicle 172, 227-33 (with M. Cowell).
2012 ‘Siliquae from the Traprain Law treasure: silver and society in later fourth- and fifth-century Britain’, in: F. Hunter and K. Painter (eds), Late Roman silver and the end of Empire: the Traprain Treasure in context. Edinburgh: Society of Antiquaries of Scotland, 93-106.
2010 ‘Coins from the Roman Frontier in Wales’, in: B. Burnham and J. Davies (eds), Roman Frontiers in Wales and the Marches. RCAHMW: Aberystwyth, 24-33.
2010 ‘Summary of the Coins’, in: C. Johns, The Hoxne Late Roman Treasure. Gold Jewellery and Silver Plate. British Museum Press, 195-200.
2009. (by R. Penhallurick, ed. with Wells, N.) Ancient and Early Medieval Coins from Cornwall and Scilly. London: Royal Numismatic Society.
2008. 'The Early Monetary History of Roman Wales: Identity, Conquest and Acculturation on the Imperial Fringe', Britannia XXXVIIII: 33-58.
2008. 'Roman Gold and Hun Kings: the use and hoarding of solidi in the late fourth and fifth centuries', in: A. Bursche, R. Ciolek and R. Wolters (eds), Roman Coins Outside the Empire: Ways and Phases, Contexts and Functions. Wetteren: Moneta, 295-307.
2008. 'Coins', in: M. Luke, Life in the Loop: Investigation of a Prehistoric and Romano-British Landscape at Biddenham Loop, Bedfordshire. East Anglian Archaeology Report 125: 280-1.
2008. 'Coins' in: P. Booth, A.M. Bingham & S. Lawrence, The Roadside Settlement at Westhawk Farm, Ashford, Kent: excavations 1998-9. Oxford Archaeology Monograph 2: 135-48.
2008. 'Appendix 2: Coinage', in: J. Abrams and D. Ingham (eds), Farming on the Edge: Archaeological Evidence from the Clay Uplands to the West of Cambridge. Albion Archaeology: East Anglian Archaeology Report 123: CD-ROM.
2007. (with Wells, N.) Iron Age & Roman Coins from Wales. Wetteren: Moneta 66.
2007. 'Coin Circulation in the Balkans in Late Antiquity', in: A. Poulter (ed), The Transition to Late Antiquity. pp. 295-308. London: British Academy.
2007. 'Coins', in: T. Catchpole, T. Copeland and A. Maxwell, 'Roman Dymock: Archaeological Investigations 1995-2002', Transactions of the Bristol and Gloucestershire Archaeological Society 125: 186-7.
2005. The Late Roman Gold and Silver Coins from the Hoxne Treasure. London: British Museum Press.
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