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. 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.
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.
My numismatic work extends to the less glamorous, but equally fascinating, world of excavated assemblages of Roman coins (‘site-finds’). I have reported on over 40 archaeological site-find assemblages from villas and rural settlements in southern England and Wales, as well as London, Caerleon, Water Newton and Elms Farm / Heybridge. Some 25 of these reports have been published, often leading to new insights and greater understanding of the excavated settlements.
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 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).
I am currently co-directing a major research and training excavation at Hinton St Mary, exploring the context for the famous mosaic discovered there in the 1960s. I am also writing up the excavations at Caerleon, the legionary fortress of Isca.
For more information, see the Vianova website.
I am a trained archaeologist and archaeological finds specialist with over 30 years’ experience working in the higher education and historic environment sectors in the UK. I currently operate as a freelance consultant, trading as Vianova Archaeology & Heritage Services, and I work collaboratively with various UK national heritage services, universities, contracting units and museums. In the past I have worked for Cardiff University, The British Museum and National Museums Wales.
Peter is a Fellow of the Society of Antiquaries of London (FSA); a full Member of the Chartered Institute for Archaeologists (MCIfA); Honorary Senior Research Fellow in the School of History and Cultures at the University of Birmingham and Honorary Research Fellow at the National Museum Wales.
Selected numismatic publications
2009 Ancient and Early Medieval Coins from Cornwall & Scilly. By R. Penhallurick (with Nick Wells). London: Royal Numismatic Society.
2007 Iron Age & Roman Coins from Wales. Wetteren: Collection Moneta, 66. (with N. Wells)
2005 The Late Roman Gold and Silver Coins from the Hoxne Treasure. London: British Museum Press.
Articles & Reports
2022 'The Hengrove Hoard of mid-fourth century Roman Bronze Coins', Numismatic Chronicle 181 (with Ed McSloy).
2021 ‘Coins’, in: M. Luke and J. Barker, A Roman Farmstead and other Late Neolithic to Post-medieval Land-use at Houghton Regis, Bedfordshire: Site HRN3206. Albion Archaeology Monograph 7. Bedford: Albion Archaeology, 92-7.
2019 ‘Hoarding in Late Roman Britain and Beyond’, in: T. Dickinson, C. Fern and L. Webster (eds), The Staffordshire Hoard: An Anglo-Saxon Treasure. Society of Antiquaries: London, 325-34.
2019 ‘Coins’, in: M. Luke and J. Barker, A Romano-British Settlement and Cemetery at Higham Road, Burton Latimer, Northamptonshire. Albion Archaeology Monograph 4. Bedford: Albion Archaeology, 67-9.
2018 ‘The Walbottle Hoard of 1879: re-examination and reassessment’, Archaeologia Aeliana 5th series, vol. 46, 41-75 (with F. McIntosh and M. Ponting).
2016 ‘Iron Age, Roman and Medieval Coins’, in: M. Luke, Close to the Loop: landscape and settlement evolution beside the Biddenham Loop, West of Bedford. East Anglian Archaeology 156. Bedford: Albion Archaeology, CD-ROM: Section 2 – Specialist Reports.
2015 'The Roman Coins', in: M. Atkinson and S.J. Preston, 'Heybridge: A Late Iron Age and Roman Settlement, Excavations at Elms Farm 1993-5'. Internet Archaeology 40
2015 ‘The Burial, Loss and Recovery of Roman Coin Hoards in Britain and Beyond: past, present and future’, 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: F. Haarer (ed.), The End of Roman Britain, AD 410 in 2010. London: Society for the Promotion of Roman Studies, 117-129.
2011 ‘Coins’, in: M. Luke and T. Preece, Farm and Forge: late Iron Age / Romano-British farmsteads at Marsh Leys, Kempston, Bedfordshire. East Anglian Archaeology Report 138: 117-8.
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 ‘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.
2004 'Trade, Commerce and the Community’, in: M. Dawson, Archaeology in the Bedford Region. Beds Archaeology Monog. 4 / BAR Brit. Series 373: 76-82.
2004 ‘The Coins’, in: N. Holbrook, ‘Turkdean Roman villa, Gloucestershire: archaeological investigations 1997-1998’, Britannia XXXV: 56-8.
2003 ‘The Coins’, in: M. Hinman, A Late Iron Age Farmstead and Romano-British Site at Haddon, Peterborough. British Archaeological Report, British Series 358: 114.
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