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Title: "Where there's muck there's brass!" : coinage in the Northumbrian landscape and economy, c.575-c.867
Author: Abramson, Tony
ISNI:       0000 0004 6348 2932
Awarding Body: University of York
Current Institution: University of York
Date of Award: 2016
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This thesis describes the evolutionary process of monetization in Northumbria. It shows how the uses and functions of coinage grew as the face-value of coins fell. Part One describes the numismatic and historical background to the phases of Northumbrian coinage. A new and significant interpretation of the York gold shilling is given, but analysis of sceats largely follows conventional lines. The focus is the introduction and growth of the copper-alloy styca. Research into stycas was confounded by Pirie’s taxonomy, in her otherwise commendable Coins of the Kingdom of Northumbria. The digitization of Pirie’s catalogue, discussed in Part Two, removes this impediment to research. The database is augmented by information relating to c.8000 coins from online and informal sources. A new periodization has been created and statistical tools developed for analysing and comparing individual sites within regions. Case studies in the economically active regions of Northumbria are supported by descriptions of finds of coins in association with artefacts, assessed on a parish basis. A numerical synthesis of coin- and artefact-rich locations facilitates comparisons between regions by the creation of statistical devices including the coefficient of monetization (the ratio of locations with both coins and portable artefacts to those with only the latter), measures of coin mix and comparisons with finds distributions. The primary conclusion is that Northumbria benefitted increasingly, both monetarily and fiscally, as the face-value of coins fell. Secondary conclusions include a strong episcopal presence in York exemplified by Paulinus’s gold shillings at the forefront of English monetization; Northumbrian coin production was erratic; the Yorkshire Wolds were more highly monetized than the surrounding lowlands indicating a more enterprising culture; styca hoards represent episcopal expropriations and there were significant changes in settlement and economy in the central lowlands. This thesis demonstrates that monetization reflected northern independence, innovation and enterprise.
Supervisor: Richards, Julian ; Woods, Andrew Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available