Peana, Massimiliano Francesco and Medici, Serenella and Zoroddu, Maria Antonietta and Brunetti, Antonio and Enzo, Stefano and Bartoloni, Piero and Ganadu, Maria Luisa Margherita (2013) Spectroscopic characterization of Phoenician-Punic coins. In: ECASIA ’13: 15. European conference on applications of surface and interface analysis: proceedings, October 13-18, 2013, Pula (CA), Italy. Cagliari, Università degli studi di Cagliari, Dipartimento di Scienze chimiche e geologiche. p. 374. ISBN 978-88-907670-0-5. Conference or Workshop Item.
Sardinia hosted many Phoenician and Punic communities, as integrated forms of pacific cohabitation with the Lebanese merchants or actual colonies for the exploitation of the rich mines and wealthy coastal emporia under the Carthaginians (750-250 B.C.). One of their most important settlements is that of Mount Sirai, in the south west of the island, whose excavation revealed a complex structure of the site and allowed the discovery of excellent finds, as steles, everyday-life objects and tools, grave goods, amulets and coins. Punic coins were made by gold, electrum or, more commonly, by bronze. The first coin mintage from Carthage dates back to the IV century B.C. Whether the mintage was exclusive to Carthage or permitted outside the city too is still a matter of debate. There is the possibility that mintages were allowed in Sardinia (320-238 B.C. as well as in 216), in Spain (237-209 B.C.) and Southern Italy (216-203 B.C.). We have analyzed ten of these bronze coins (Fig. 1) to unveil the secrets of their mintage, origins and inner structure. Some traditional spectroscopic techniques such as X-ray diffraction (XRD) and fluorescence (XRF) have been used for this purpose, allowing us to learn about their mineral content (XRD) and elemental composition (XRF) [1,2]. Here we report about these findings.
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