Elemental composition of gold and silver coins of Siphnos

Kenneth A. Sheedy, Damian B. Gore, Maryse Blet-Lemarquand, Gillan Davis

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterpeer-review


Three areas in mainland and Aegean Greece are known to have been important sources of silver during antiquity: Laurion in south-east Attica, the Thraco-Macedonian region of northern Greece, and the Cycladic island of Siphnos. The mines of Siphnos are thought to have been a major source of silver for archaic Greece coinage, especially that of Aegina. Lead isotope and elemental analyses have been used in published studies of ores, slag and litharge (lead oxide; PbO) found on Siphnos, and elemental analyses on 12 coins. Here we present elemental analyses of one gold and 29 silver coins from Siphnos. This data leads us to reconsider the claim made by Gale et al. 1980 that the levels of bismuth in Siphnian silver are higher than those recorded levels for Laurion silver. Finally, the evidence of the analyses is considered in relation to the history of minting on Siphnos.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationMetallurgy in Numismatics 6
Subtitle of host publicationMines, Metals and Money: Ancient World Studies in Science, Archaeology and History
EditorsKenneth A. Sheedy, Gillan Davis
Place of PublicationLondon
PublisherRoyal Numismatic Society
Number of pages15
ISBN (Print)090140537X
Publication statusPublished - 2020

Publication series

NameRoyal Numismatic Society Special Publications
PublisherRoyal Numismatic Society


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