Roman coinage represents the largest single category of object recorded through the British Museum's Portable Antiquities Scheme (PAS), with over 300,000 single finds in addition to several thousand hoards. This dataset, unparalleled anywhere else in the world, provides a unique perspective on the province of Roman Britain and its interaction with the larger Roman Empire. By exploring 50 key finds of Roman coinage it is possible to shed light on all aspects of Roman Britain from the conquest in AD 43 through to the Roman withdrawal by c. AD 410. Unusually for a Roman numismatic dataset, the PAS examples provide wide coverage of the entire province, revealing evidence for early military activity, the development of the rural landscape, as well as the socio-political and cultural evolution of the province.
Approaching the material thematically, it will be possible to examine key elements of Roman Britain such as religion, the economy, British 'identity', the 'Britannic Empire', and the archaeological application or implications of the PAS data.
Dr Andrew Brown is Deputy National Finds Advisor for Iron Age and Roman coinage at the Portable Antiquities Scheme/British Museum.