Amgueddfa Blog: Learning

Hello everyone, my name’s Eirini and I am a student intern in the Archaeology and Numismatics department at NMW, Cardiff. This post is the second in my series of blogs on the numismatics collection at the Museum. Last time I took a look at the collection of Ancient Greek coins and this week I am back to examine the Roman coin collection.

While the Ancient Greeks never set foot in Wales, the Romans invaded in AD 48 so there have been a great deal of Roman coins found and reported to the Portable Antiquities Scheme. Here are a few of my favourites from the collections.

Hoard of silver denarii found in Wick, Vale of Glamorgan (c. AD 165)

The 2 oldest coins date back to the Republic and are both coins of Mark Anthony while the rest date to the Empire. The front side of all of the Empire coins have portraits of an emperor, ranging from Nero (AD 54-68) to Marcus Aurelius (AD 161-180).

The most interesting aspect of this coin hoard is the variety of reverse designs on them! There are many coins dating to the reigns of Vespasian (AD 69-79) and Trajan (AD 98-117). These coins predominately feature deities and personifications on their reverse sides. Some examples of the deities featured include Jupiter, Hercules and Mars. One design that sticks out to me is the personification of peace (Pax) holding an olive branch, sceptre and cornucopia (a horn that symbolises abundance). Other personifications include Pietas (duty) and Felicitas (good fortune).

There is an extensive variety of other reverse types on the coins including representations of the emperor and his family, types of military conquest and victories, legionary types, geographical imagery, architecture, animals and propaganda.

I like how varied the imagery is on these Roman coins as later coins found in Sully (c. AD 320), Bridgend (c. AD 310) and Llanbethery (c. AD 350) as well as our modern coins tend to have the same, repeated imagery on their reverse.

Sully Hoard of copper-alloy coins (c. AD 320)

This hoard is one of the largest hoards of Roman coins found in Wales. An incredible 5913 coins were discovered in two locations, 3 metres apart in the South Wales coastal village of Sully.

The latest coins from this collection all have the same reverse design regardless of where they were minted, from London to Rome –they represent an early single currency with a standardised design not found in the earlier hoards.

However, the designs on these coins are more crude and less detailed than the earlier Roman finds.

Hello Bulb Buddies,

Thank you to all schools who have entered their flower data! Remember to make sure the dates entered are correct and that the height has been entered in millimetres! We have had a few flowers reported for April and lots of very short crocus and daffodils!

If you spot that your entries need amending, just re-enter them to the website with a comment to explain that the new entry is to replace a previous one.

I have enjoyed reading the comments that have been sent with the weather and flower data! I’ve attached some of these below.

Last year an interesting question was raised by Stanford in the Vale Primary, who asked whether they needed to enter multiple flower records if the height and flowering date were the same for each? It is still important to enter this flower data, as the number of flowers at a particular height and particular date will impact on the overall averages for the project.

To work out your schools mean flowering height for the crocus and daffodil, add all of your crocus or daffodil heights together and divide by the number of entries for that flower.

If you have one flower at 200mm and one at 350mm the mean would be 275mm. If you have one flower at 200mm and ten flowers at 350mm your mean flower height would be 336mm. This is why it is important that you enter all of your flower records.

Every flower record is important and impacts on the overall results. If your plant hasn’t grown by the end of March, please send in a flower record without a date or height and explain this in the comment section. If your plant has grown but hasn’t produced a flower by the end of March please enter the height without a date and explain this in the comments section.

Keep the questions coming Bulb Buddies! There are resources and activities on the website to help you. Once your plant has flowered, why not draw it and label the different parts of the plant? I would love to see photos of your drawings and will post any that are sent in on my next Blog!

Keep up the good work Bulb Buddies!

Professor Plant

Hi, Eirini here – I am a student intern in the Archaeology and Numismatics department at NMW, Cardiff. I’ve been taking a look at the museum’s extensive coin collection and will be creating a series of blogs on each of them.

Today I am looking at ancient coins from my home country of Greece. The collection of Greek coinage dates back to over 2000 years ago, but the designs are in great condition. They are all made of silver or gold and we can see the development of currency through them – beginning with rough coins that look like ingots to detailed chunky coins featuring Emperors faces, some from Macedonia and Byzantium as well as famous leaders like Alexander the Great.

I’ve picked my two favourite coins from the collection:

Alexander the Great, Macedonian Drachma

4 Drachum from Pella, Macedonia (dating to 315BC) features Alexander wearing a lion skin, the symbol of Greek hero Hercules, on the front with Alexander’s name inscribed on the back next to an image of Zeus. This design was mimicked by Emperors following Alexander’s death.

I like that this coin is in such good condition. We can see the details of Alexander’s face – it’s impressive considering the tools they had! You can read the inscription clearly despite how old it is.

Byzantine Empress Theodora, Constantinople Nomisma

 A gold tetarteron dating from the reign of Theodora (AD 1055-1056) featuring a portrait of Theodora holding a sceptre and orb, on the other side is a depiction of Jesus Christ. The same iconography of Jesus was used on other Byzantine emperors’ coins, but with their own portraits in place of Theodora’s.

I like how this coin is also in great condition, however, the artwork is much simpler on Byzantine coins with less intricate detailing.

Next week, I will be looking at some Roman coins - a common metal detectorist find in Wales. Greek coins, unfortunately, aren't found in Wales as Greece never invaded the British Isles! Remember to always report any findings to the Portable Antiquities Scheme to allow us to keep learning from the past.

Wrexham Museum is currently hosting their Buried in the Borderlands community archaeology project, a project based around a hoard of Medieval silver and gold coins and a stunning sapphire and gold ring discovered by metal detectorists in Bronington.

Thomas and Leon are students working hard on the Bronington Hoard project at Wrexham Museum, learning about the value of the coins and archaeology. Read more about them here.

The duo have been keeping us updated of their work experience progress. Leon has been working on an information booklet about the hoard while Tom has been focused on making a craft session for the children who come to the museum.

“I’ve been looking into some ways to make coins out of clay or foam board and some paint. I’ve also been looking at ways to be able to print the patterns on the coins onto the craft coins,” explains Tom. All their effort has been paying off, as the boys are getting involved with events this Easter holiday time.

“We’ve recently decided what we’ll be doing in our craft session during the Easter holidays. We’ll be making coins! We’ll be introducing families to the hoard and get them to make their favourite coin out of clay. The clay and metallic paint we’ve ordered arrived this week! We look forward to seeing some of you at our ‘Make & Take’ craft session at the museum on Tuesday, April 3rd, 10.30am – 12.30pm.”

Leon explains that they are also excited to hosting a visit from History Matters, a 15th century re-enactment group who are visiting Wrexham Musuem on May 30th. “They’ll be showing us and our visitors all about everyday life when the hoard was buried,” explains Leon. “We’re looking forward to learning about what people and ate. It’d be great to see you there! You might even spot us in period dress.”

Meanwhile, Leon has been working on an information booklet for visitors for when the hoard actually goes on display at the museum in March. “It’s more difficult than I first thought!” he admits, “trying to write enough information and make it interesting without being too dull or boring. I’m getting great help from the museum staff though. My booklet will be translated, designed and printed so I’m looking forward to getting all the information written to share with you.”

Click here for a full list of events being held at Wrexham Museum

The Buried in the Borderlands Project is funded by the Heritage Lottery Fund via the Saving Treasures; Telling Stories Project.

Hello bulb buddies,

What an interesting time to be studying and observing the weather! Most of you will have had snow and high winds this last week. I understand that many schools were closed, and that conditions in the school grounds may have meant you weren’t able to collect weather data on days that you were in school.

It’s likely that you’ve heard people talking about weather warnings a lot over the last week. Weather warnings are released by the MET Office (the UK’s official weather service) and are colour coded (green, yellow, amber and red) to indicate how extreme the weather will be in different areas.

Green: weather is not expected to be extreme.

Yellow: possibility of extreme weather so you should be aware of it.

Amber (orange): strong chance of the weather effecting you in some way, so be prepared.

Red: extreme weather expected, plan ahead and follow the advice of the emergency services and local authorities.

The Met Office also use symbols to indicate what type of weather to expect. For example, the symbols to the right show (in order) a red warning for rain, green for wind, green for snow, amber for ice and green for fog. This means there will be heavy rain and that you should prepare for ice. Why not have a look at the Met Office website and see what the weather forecast is for where you live?

Amber and red warnings for wind, snow and ice were given for many parts of the UK last week as storm Emma and the ‘Beast from the East’ collided. The Met Office warn us about bad weather so that we can prepare for it. This is because extreme weather (such as strong winds and ice) can cause difficulties and make it hard to travel. Roads and train lines can close, flights can be cancelled, and walking conditions can be dangerous.

What was the weather like where you live? If you weren’t able to collect weather records you can enter ‘no record’ on the online form, but please let me know in the comment section what the weather was like! You can also let me know how your plants are doing and whether they have flowered!

Keep up the good work Bulb Buddies,

Professor Plant

 

Comments about the weather:

Ysgol Beulah: Roedd eira yn pot ni :)!!!!!!!!!.

Ysgol Carreg Emlyn: Mae hi wedi bwrw eira yma heddiw.

Ferryside V.C.P School: mae wythnos hyn wedi bod yn bwrw lot

Broad Haven Primary School: Snow Hail sleet sun rain gales . We have seen them all.

St Robert's R.C Primary School: We had a cold week this week.

Peterston super Ely Primary School: Lots of snow on Friday

Steelstown Primary School: Once again northern Ireland has been hit by a cold patch but Derry has once again missed out on heavy snowfall roll on spring.

Severn Primary: Some other places got some snow and it was really cold on Thursday when we went out for Games because of the wind. Hope we get snow!

St Paul's CE Primary School: WINDY AND COLD SNOW SHOWERS

Canonbie Primary School: We had snow again this week and lots of rain. Little signs of life springing through but no flowering bulbs yet.

Canonbie Primary School: This week has been a bit mixed weather wise. We had freezing conditions and snow on Tuesday but milder conditions by Friday. Typical British weather.

Carnbroe Primary School: Hi Professor Plant, we were off all week except for Thursday and Friday. The weather this week has been cold and icy.

Peterston super Ely Primary School: Snow days on Thursday and Friday

Onthank Primary School: No record of result due to snow days.

Auchenlodment Primary School: The Beast from the East hit this week! There was lots of snow and we were off school, yippee!

St John's Primary School: School was closed on Thursday due to weather conditions.

Fleet Wood Lane Primary School: School closed because of snow on Weds – Fri.

Carnforth North Road Primary School: The weather this week has been very cold and windy. The children have had to wrap up warm to gather the data.

Portpatrick Primary School: Very cold first thing - frozen ground, but no snow.

Inverkip Primary School: Hi professor plant Monday we had ALOT of rain but every other day it didn't rain at all. The temperature was warm then it dropped down but steadied up at the end of the week.

Steelstown Primary: We are starting to get some warm weather and some of our bulbs are growing.

Arkholme CE Primary School: It was very cold and on some days it was frosty.

St Andrew's RC Primary School: The rain gauge was broken by the frost, we have ordered a new one. This is why we have no rainfall for Wednesday, Thursday or Friday.

 

Comments about your plants:

Ysgol Beulah: Roedd y tywydd yn oer iawn felly dydy'r blodau ddim wedi blaguro eto.

Ysgol Y Traeth: Mae sawl un o'r blodau wedi dechrau tyfu a rhai wedi dechrau agor yn araf. Mae 14 crocws wedi tyfu a 27 daffodil wedi tyfu.

Carnbroe Primary School: Hi Professor Plant, our bulbs still have not bloomed yet. The weather this week has been changeable. It has been wet, really really cold and icy and although the sun is out it's been cold.

Ysgol Bro Pedr: Many bulbs making an appearance now - a very cold week

Peterston super Ely Primary School: Meghan's crocus has finally flowered! Hopefully when we return from our half term holiday a few more will have flowered too.

Peterston super Ely Primary School: The children are very excited this week as one of our crocus bulbs has finally flowered!

Darran Park Primary: The temperature is still very cold. Our daffodils haven't grown but our crocus have a little bit.

Inverkip Primary School: Mon - Wed school holidays so no data collected. The bulbs are growing well in the pots but not in the ground yet. None have started to flower.

Pembroke Primary School: Looks like I planted two crocus and 1 daffodil. When I saw mine I was surprised.

Pembroke Primary School: This was the first in our class. T has now left the school. The pot wasn't full to the top with compost so this may have resulted in it flowering early.

Auchenlodment Primary School: Got colder this week with very little rainfall. Most of the bulbs have begun to sprout!

Stanford in the Vale Primary School: Beautiful deep purple flower.

Ysgol Bro Pedr: The first crocus opened over our half term.

Bacup Thorn Primary School: Monday and Tuesday were teacher training days at Thorn. We are back and ready to measure! The children noticed some of our bulbs are making a slight appearance!!