Week 6 - Imperial Connectivity

Essay: How closely interconnected was the Achaemenid Empire?
Presentation 1: Memphis Customs Account
Presentation 2: Black Sea Hoard and Jordan Hoard
A. Kuhrt, The Persian Empire: A Corpus of Sources from the Achaemenid Period (2007), 730-762 (excellent collection of sources)
P. Briant, From Cyrus to Alexander 357-387

P. Briant, ‘From Sardis to Susa’, in Kings, Countries, Peoples (2017), 359-374.
H. Colburn, ‘Connectivity and Communication in the Achaemenid Empire’, Jounral of the Economic and Social History of the Orient 56 (2013), 29-52
W. Henkelman, ‘Imperial signature and imperial paradigm’, in Die Verwaltung im Achämenidenreich, eds. B. Jacobs et al (2017), 45-256 – no need to read all of it; connectivity discussed in early part of the paper. 
Memphis Customs Account
P. Briant, ‘A customs register from the satrapy of Egypt in the Achaemenid period’, in Kings, Countries, Peoples (2017), 377-414.
Brief and pungent comments also in N. Purcell, ‘A view from the customs house’, in W.V. Harris (ed.), Rethinking the Mediterranean (2005), 200-234.

Coin hoards: 
C.M. Kraay and P.R.S. Moorey, ‘A Black Sea Hoard of the Late Fifth century BC’, Numismatic Chronicle 141 (1981) 1-19
C.M. Kraay and P.R.S. Moorey, ‘Two fifth century hoards from the Near East’, Revue numismatique 1968, 181-235.

Archaeological Dossier: 'Black Sea' Hoard

The original contents of the “Black Sea” hoard consisted of at least 102 silver coins (78 of them now in the Ashmolean), of which some 60% had been test-cut and some 39% were incomplete fragments of coins that had been deliberately broken apart with a chisel or knife. The hoard also contained a large quantity of uncoined silver. The part of the hoard which ended up in the Ashmolean includes 38 uncoined silver objects (ingots, “Hacksilber” and miscellaneous objects); the hoard is reported also to have contained more than 300 further “unornamented small fragments of silver”. The coins in the hoard mostly date to the mid-fifth century BC and the hoard seems likely to have been buried c. 420 BC. (The single coin from Paphos in the hoard is now generally dated c. 400–370 BC, but this seems too late for the rest of the hoard’s contents.)   
The attribution of this hoard to the Black Sea region (proposed by Kraay and Moorey (1981)) rests solely on the presence of the large number of coins in the hoard attributed to the city of Sinope, on the Black Sea coast of Turkey. This attribution is problematic, as pointed out by F. de Callataÿ (2003: 271-2) (cf. Alram 2012 (71), suggesting that any doubts about this hoard's authenticity are 'unfounded'). No other contemporary hoards from the Black Sea region include this volume of Athenian owls, or of coins struck on the south coast of Anatolia; nor do we have other “mixed” hoards of coined and uncoined silver from this region. de Callataÿ prefers to attribute this hoard to the Levant or Egypt, where “mixed” hoards of this kind are very common, and his reasoning was accepted by Peter van Alfen. The large number of coins of “Sinope” in the hoard might argue against a provenance in the Levant; but the attribution of this coin-series to Sinope is far from certain. 
Hoards of this type predominantly date to the fifth century BC; they become much rarer in the late fifth and fourth century, with the beginning of large-scale coin-minting by the Phoenician cities. For a fourth-century example, see e.g. Gitler's 2006 article.

Key Bibliography:

Publication: C.M. Kraay and P.R.S. Moorey, ‘A Black Sea Hoard of the Late Fifth century BC’, Numismatic Chronicle 141 (1981) 1-19 and Coin Hoards 1.15.

Discussion and parallels: P. van Alfen, ‘Herodotus’ “Aryandic” silver and bullion use in Persian-period Egypt’, American Journal of Numismatics 16/17 (2004-5), 7-46.

Archaeological Dossier: Jordan Hoard
Coin Dossier: Lydia
Coin Dossier: Achaemenid Royal Issues

For a taste of the issues (and controversies) surrounding the iconography and production of the King-Archer coinages, see M. Cool Root's article, and in more detail, C. Tuplin, 'The changing pattern of Achaemenid Persian Royal Coinage', in P. Bernholz and R. Vaubel (eds), Explaining Monetary and Financial Innovation 2014), 127-168.