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Balkh: Coin Finds, Urban History, and Methodological Challenges


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Balkh: Coin Finds, Urban History, and Methodological Challenges
04 March 2014, 06:00 PM
2nd Floor Lecture Hall
Lecture Event
Stefan Heidemann (University of Hamburg)
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Coin from the excavation before treatment.

The Délégation Archéologique Française en Afghanistan (DAFA) excavated at the site of Tepe Zargaran within the urban area of Balkh between 2004 and 2009. 3,500 coins were retrieved. Since 2011 an Oxford University based project “Balkh Art and Cultural Heritage Project” in co-operation with DAFA and the Afghani Ministry of Culture focuses the Islamic period of Balkh. The excavated material, however, does not stop with the ascendance of Islam but goes further back to the Kushan period and the Hellenistic foundations of Balkh. The research questions of our missions in 2012 and 2013 were clear: to reconstruct the sequence of numismatic coin finds as an independent source for the urban history. But we encountered numerous practical and methodological challenges. We set up a field lab for coin conservation. Distribution of the coin finds in the excavated areas had to be discussed within the whole urban landscape and its historical development. The excavation in Balkh and the reconstruction of the numismatic source can serve in this regard as a challenging model.

This lecture is sponsored by The Achelis Foundation.

NOTICE: Admission to the ISAW Lecture Hall closes 10 minutes after the scheduled start time.

Event is open to the public