Gifts to the gods? : votive deposition in north-eastern France from 250 BC to the age of Augustus : a numismatic perspective
This thesis examines the use of coinage on votive sites of the later Iron Age and
earliest Roman period in the north-east of France. Moving beyond numismatic
studies, it evaluates the archaeological contexts in which Iron Age coins have
been found, and seeks to use a single artefact type to consider the nature of
centralised votive deposition in this area.
Previously, a single type of votive deposition has been assumed to exist in the
study area based on the presence of an archaeologically visible votive tradition
in western Picardy. This study reviews the archaeological evidence from a wider
area, and considers the extremely regional nature of votive deposition from the
point of the numismatic deposits. It also looks chronologically at developments
in the deposition of artefacts on votive sites, and reviews the changing nature of
votive deposition over time.
The development of oppida is also entwined with votive sites, many in the study
area also having votive foci, and large ritual deposits of coinage. The
appearance of coinage is closely related to an increasingly complex society,
including the appearance of oppida and centralised votive sites, and reasons for
this are suggested. The function of coinage in later Iron Age societies is
considered. In the later Iron Age coinage was produced in large quantities on
votive sites, and was deposited in the immediate locality. The evidence suggests
that coins were produced primarily for votive deposition in parts of the study
area, a trend which begins with early potin and silver, and increases after the
Gallic Wars in the middle of the first century BC.