Coins can be dated much more precisely than objects, but the production of most coins is still dated to a range that covers several years. As noted above, coins may then continue to circulate for many years after this. However, in order to plot the coin charts produced within the project, each coin needed to be assigned a single date. It was decided to use the median of the date-range of production for this purpose. Other approaches have been taken to the dating of coins (such as the adjustment for circulation times in Blackburn 2003), but it was felt that the simplicity and consistency across all coin types of the median date of production were most appropriate to the needs of the VASLE analyses. The irregular coin date ranges adopted for the National Dataset could not be extended to this phase of the project because of time constraints.

Very few coins in the EMC have a date range greater than 50 years so the median date was hardly ever more, and very often less, than 25 years from the date of production. Coins were therefore assigned as Middle or Late Saxon using the date of 870 as a simple dividing line – if their median date was earlier, they were classified as Middle Saxon, if later, then Late Saxon. Middle/Late Saxon was not used for dating mid-9th century coins as the median date established the middle or late dating with reasonable precision.


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Last updated: Tues Apr 21 2009