Excavated from Traprain Law, East Lothian, Scotland, in 1919, was one of the most spectacular discoveries of Roman silver ever made in Europe – and the biggest hoard of ‘hacksilver’: 23kg of silver, battered, crushed and chopped up.
Blame for the destruction has hitherto been laid at the door of ‘barbarians’ but this lavishly illustrated study changes that view.
An international team of scholars has reviewed the hoard’s origins and manufacture, its use as elite tableware, its hacking and later reuse.
A century of new discoveries and ideas allow fresh conclusions, especially about the hacking. With wide-ranging parallels from across Europe, the authors argue that hacking was a deliberate Roman policy to create bullion out of valued vessels at times of economic crisis.
Published by NMS Enterprises Ltd
275 x 215mm
colour photograph section, black and white halftones, illustrations – 1300 images in total + bar charts and tables
Dr Fraser Hunter is Principal Curator of the Iron Age and Roman collections, National Museums Scotland, and presenter of Scotland: Rome’s Final Frontier on BBC2.
Dr Annemarie Kaufmann-Heinimann is a researcher at Basel University.
Dr Kenneth Painter was Deputy Keeper of the Greek and Roman department of the British Museum.