Byzantine Bronze Concave Coins and a Hoard in Kutahya Museum


OLBA, vol.24, pp.555-574, 2016 (AHCI) identifier identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Volume: 24
  • Publication Date: 2016
  • Journal Name: OLBA
  • Journal Indexes: Arts and Humanities Citation Index (AHCI), Scopus, TR DİZİN (ULAKBİM)
  • Page Numbers: pp.555-574
  • Keywords: Byzantine, Coin, Concave, Trachy, Hoard, Kutahya
  • Anadolu University Affiliated: Yes


The subject of this paper is a Byzantine bronze concave coin hoard in the Kutahya Museum. This hoard was seen during a study conducted at the museum in 2013. It contains 41 coins. The concave coins were first minted during the reign of Constantine IX (1042-55) as histamena. During the reign of Alexios I (1081-1118), this method was also introduced to produce bronze issues. Scholars have used the term scyphate since the 19th century to define Byzantine concave coins based on Latin sources. However, in the Byzantine sources the term "trachy" defines the concave coins. There is still no definitive answer to why the Byzantines started to mint concave coins. Moreover research of these coins still contain many problems of attribution and dating due to poor striking, defective legends and unattractive appearance of the coins. Several concave bronze coin hoards have been recorded in Bulgaria, other places in Balkans, south of Greece, and Western Anatolia. The hoard in the Kutahya Museum comes from Ulukoy in Sandikli, Afyonkarahisar in ancient Phrygia. The hoard contains coins of Isaac II (24), Alexius III (14), Bulgarian Imitatives (2) and Theodore I (1). The total weight of the hoard is 111.61 g., with an average weight of 2.72 g. and the average diameter of the coins is 24.4 mm. The region where the hoard comes from was not under the Byzantine rule at the 12th century. In addition the region was located on a main road starting from Constantinople and leading over Eskisehir-Afyon-Sandikli-Dinar combining with Ephesus and Denizli in Asia Minor. The hoard in the Kutahya Museum is dated between years 1185-1205 /1212? Therefore, the year 1185 can be accepted as a terminus post quem for the hoard. The hoard is not belonging to the pre-1185, but it is dated after the Latin occupation of 1204.