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Publikation von F. Hunter, A. Kaufmann-Heinimann, K. Painter (eds.), The late Roman silver treasure from Traprain Law (Edinburgh, National Museums of Scotland 2022)


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.