Projects

SACI Roman Coin Project

January, 2020 to December, 2022

Current

Our Roman coin project with Studio Arts College International (SACI) is underway. SACI is partnering with Friends of Florence for a crucial phase of conservation of a cache of significant Roman coins discovered in Chianti in 2015, part of a collaboration between SACI and Florida State University (FSU). Our objective in restoring these important artifacts is to prepare them for permanent display in the town of Gaiole about the origins of Chianti.

Discovered by Alvaro Tracchi in 1964 and excavated by FSU since 1973, the site reveals a historical and cultural layering of more than a millennium. The earliest finds date from the 3rd century BCE—an Etruscan artisan’s quarters and a sanctuary— followed by a Roman villa and spanning through medieval times with the evidence of a Civitamura, a walled settlement or castle (12th century ACE) in the Chianti hills. The 194 Roman silver coins unearthed in 2015 date from 200 BCE to 30 BCE. The coins are thought to be a payment made to a veteran soldier who fought in the battle of Actium (31 BCE) immediately prior to the shift from the Republic to the Roman Empire. Most of the coins are in excellent condition and some of rare typology. The find has ramifications far beyond Roman history and has the potential to advance our knowledge of numismatics, religion, and metallurgy, too.

 

Images:
Roman Silver denarius coin portraying Mark Antony (obverse). Struck by mint traveling with Antony, dated to 32 BCE. Photograph: Kenneth Kobre
Roman Silver denarius coin portraying diademed Cleopatra VII (reverse). Struck by mint traveling with Antony, dated to 32 BCE. Photograph: Kenneth Kobre

Donors: 

Wendy and Raymond Ackerman
Donald and Ann Calder Foundation
Richard and Rebecca Crown
John and Jessica Fullerton
Lauren and Phil Hughes
Fred Hunzeker and Carly Turner
James & Ellen Morton
Richard Sidoli Jr.