Report on 2012 Symposium

International symposium in early medieval coinage, 31st March 2012

The seminar room at the Fitzwilliam Museum was full to capacity for this now regular, biennial, event. Attendees included numismatists, collectors, archaeologists, detectorists, senior academics and students. Many who had travelled from overseas specifically to attend the event, were able to join in an affable meal on the previous evening. The theme was 'Mark Blackburn and His Legacy' and the papers, as one might expect of this inspirational teacher, were of the highest order. After Simon Keynes’ personal reflections on Mark Blackburn, former students Rory Naismith and Andy Woods spoke respectively on the mints of London and Dublin.

The second session, on early Anglo-Saxon coinage, included Anna Gannon on sceats, John Hines on the origins of ‘sceat’ and its denomination and Gareth Williams on the Staffordshire Hoard. After lunch, during which Grunal the Moneyer gave a demonstration of coin making, Ron Bude, visiting from the US, and Stewart Lyon opened new avenues of discovery advancing work commenced respectively in the 1980s and ‘90s by James Booth and Liz Pirie.

The third session gave Dot Broughton and Kristin Bornholdt-Collins the chance to describe the latest findings from the significant hoards found respectively at Silverdale and Furness. The final session gave some of the Continental visitors - Florence Codine & Guillaume Sarah and Arent Pol - an opportunity to explain their current research.

Overall this was a most entertaining, full and informative day and gave attendees the chance to socialise and discuss their current work.

See also

Call for papers, Studies in Early Medieval Coinage, volume 3

Studies in Early Medieval Coinage, Volume 3 will include papers from the 2010 and 2012 symposia in early medieval coinage, both held at the Fitzwilliam Museum, Cambridge. The deadline for submissions is the end of 2012. There will be no extension to this generous allowance. I have already received pledges for twelve articles and space may be limited, so please do not delay in letting me know if you want to contribute. The major bibliography now prepared and under review may form a separate volume.

Studies in Early Medieval Coinage, Volume 3 is to be published by Boydell & Brewer. Previous volumes are available from them at Please support this worthy journal; this entire initiative will be jeopardised if the publication fails.

Call for speakers: medieval money and coinage 2013

I am intending to hold another full day symposium on medieval money and coinage (roughly AD 973–1500) during the Leeds International Medieval Congress, 1-4 July 2013, Please send me have an abstract and brief biography at if you wish to speak or organise an individual session of 3-4 speakers. While this seems early, proposals for individual papers must be submitted by 31 August 2012 and session proposals by 30 September 2012. I’m not sure how well numismatics and monetary history can be made to fit the thematic strand of the Congress which is ‘Pleasure’. I await your creative suggestions. Nine papers from the 13th July 2010 symposium are currently being published in The Yorkshire Numismatist volume 4.

Tony Abramson,

April 2012.

Press Release:

Money & Medals, SNC, Celator.

Updates for the new year

Details of speakers and abstracts of presentations for the March symposium are now available here, as is further information about the overall project.

SEMC at Fitzwilliam in 2012

The Symposium in Early Medieval Coinage will take place on the 31st March 2012 at the Fitzwilliam Museum, Cambridge. The final programme can be viewed through the link above. The following newsletter update is from the organiser Tony Abramson.

For better or worse, an eventful two years would have passed since the previous early medieval coinage symposium. We have again assembled an attractive programme for your entertainment and enlightenment and hope that you are able to come and join this free event.

Registration couldn’t be simpler - just email me, sooner rather than later. There is nothing more to do. There is no charge, other than £5 for morning and afternoon tea/coffee and biscuits, payable on arrival. On arrival, please assemble at the rear goods entrance* - perhaps not the most salubrious meeting place but at least it offers some shelter. Collect your name badge and you will be directed into the basement Seminar Room at 10:00 am.

Please follow the link above for the latest programme. There may be some late movement in the first session where I have asked his former students to describe their current work initiated or influenced by Mark Blackburn.

As in previous years, I would like to invite attendees to join us for a meal on the Friday evening before the symposium. This gives us some social time, outside the tightly scheduled programme, to relax and catch up. The venue will be Pizza Express, 7a Jesus Lane, 7:15 pm for 7:30. See link at right hand side. Those wishing to attend should let me know. The cost is typically around £20-£30 per head.  Bring coins! Check the web for convenient parking – the nearest is Park Street Car Park.

Saturday Lunch arrangements - a good lunch is to be had at the Graduate Centre, to which we will guide you. I have left a generous 90 minutes in the programme to allow you to return refreshed by retail therapy!

Please pass on this Newsletter, as it is important to make this event a success. If you have contacts that I could usefully include in my database, please advise (Data Protection Act permitting). If you think we might fruitfully gain publicity elsewhere, please let me know – or just take the initiative yourself and copy me in.
If you want to be “unsubscribed” please let me know.

The Proceedings of the 2006 International Sceatta Symposia have been published by Boydell & Brewer, under the title Studies in Medieval Coinage: Two Decades of Discovery. Volume 2, subtitled New Perspectives and based on the 2008 symposium, is also available from the publishers. I will ensure that both volumes are available for purchase at the Symposium. Volume 3 will include both the 2010 and 2012 papers as well as a very substantial bibliography. Publication is expected by the end of 2012. Please support this worthy journal - this entire initiative will be jeopardised if the publication fails.

Please adhere to the British Numismatic Journal guidance notes in preparing scripts. This is available on

I again risk all in advising those more experienced in delivering lectures. Reading your paper is dull. It’s important to keep your audience engaged and involved, i.e. awake! Don’t worry if you divert from the printed text, fail to cover the entire ground or even make a mistake. All is forgiven in exchange for being informative and entertaining. The audience will be more appreciative. (I exclude our Continental speakers from this. I am full of admiration for their mastery of English.)

I will try to help anyone seeking guidance on local overnight accommodation. Please let me know your requirements.

And finally……without the active support of our friends at the Fitzwilliam, Martin and Rory amongst others, this would all be so much more difficult. Thank you!

I look forward to seeing you all again.

Best wishes,

Tony Abramson

* This is approached down Grove Lane outside the railings beyond the new entrance on the left of the museum as you face it.