Mining money in late archaic Athens

Gil Davis*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

13 Citations (Scopus)


Silver mining helped transform Athens from a quiet backwater ca. 600 BCE to a dominant regional and naval power a little over a century later, but despite having large argentiferous ore deposits and being an early minter, she did not initially use much native silver for her coinage. In this paper I identify technical and geopolitical factors which explain this. I also explore the related and controversial questions of the extent to which the Athenian State benefited from the subsequent massive exploitation of the Laurion deposits, and the nexus between silver mining, monetisation of the economy, and political development.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)257-277
Number of pages21
JournalHistoria - Zeitschrift fur Alte Geschichte
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 2014


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