The Coins from Qasr-e Abu Nasr, Iran

Now the latest news from the world of shameless self-promotion: my paper on the coins in the Metropolitan Museum of Art excavated at Qasr-e Abu Nasr (Old Shiraz) in the 1930s has now been published in Archaeological and Anthropological Sciences! This paper was the brainchild of Omid Oudbashi, a scientific research fellow at The Met (and now a lecturer at the University of Gothenburg). He’s the one who carried out the technical analyses that are the raison d’être of the paper; I merely supplied the archaeological and numismatic discussions.

I like this paper in part because these coins were excavated ninety years ago, and yet now, thanks to Omid, they have something new to say. Some of the coins are pretty wild, too, especially this one:

Arab-Sasanian bronze coin minted at Bishapur, seventh to eighth cen. CE,
excavated at Qasr-e Abu Nasr, Iran. Metropolitan Museum of Art, 36.30.335.

There’s also a gold Byzantine solidus that was converted into a pendant, and probably came to Iran in that form, and a Chinese bronze cash of the Song Dynasty, which probably came by sea via Siraf on the Persian Gulf.

It’s been great fun reexamining these excavated but long-ignored objects. As Indiana Jones said, this “represents everything we got into archaeology for in the first place!”