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But, none of these materials is as good as a coin with the name of a king and a date stamped into the metal.” We were lucky. We could read a few of the letters by holding a tiny flashlight along the surface so that the raking light created shadow effects that revealed a few of the letters and what seemed like a 16-something date. If we could identify it, we would have a certain date before which the Hart Chalet Inuit site could not have been occupied. Meaning, the earliest possible date for something to happen.Our boat captain, Perry Colbourne, used a small flashlight and a Nikon cool-pix camera to get shots of both sides of the coin which we sent off to the Smithsonian’s National Museum of Natural History to see if someone there could identify it.

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This period is not very well documented in historical sources, and coinage thus provides valuable knowledge concerning the many different rulers who reigned during this time.

Over 600 coin hoards are known from the second half of the 3rd century – the largest number from any period of British history, and also more hoards from the period than from anywhere else in the Roman Empire.

To date, there has been relatively little systematic archaeological investigation of why Roman coin hoards were buried and why some hoards were not recovered, and what information they might provide when studied as a group.

These arguments therefore need to be explored in relation to the rapidly-growing body of recorded hoard finds.

Twenty minutes later, I got an email response from my student intern Margaret Litten. I am a pretty good numismatist [coin expert],” she wrote.

“I looked at the photos you sent and I think I found what coin it is but I left a message with the Collections Manager [of the National Numismatic Collection] at American [Smithsonian’s National Museum of American History] for an official ID. “Maybe it did not get to the site until many years later.” “You’re right there, Allie,” I replied.For a couple hundred years the Inuit traded walrus ivory, whale baleen, eider duck down, and seal and walrus hides with Europeans to obtain boats, iron tools, cloth, tobacco, and ceramics.The Inuit carried these products back north to their settlements along the icy coasts where Europeans ships could not travel.” “The appearance of European artifacts in the arctic helps archaeologists in many ways,” I continued.“We learn how Inuit adapted to European culture and technology—replacing their stone tools with iron, their soapstone pots with copper, their ivory beads with more colorful glass beads, their skin boats with wooden whaleboats, and many other things.The introduction of European artifacts and technologies also helps us date Inuit sites: clay pipes and glass beads appear only after 1600; Spanish faience earthenware pottery is more present in the 1500s.These dates always have a built-in error of plus or minus 40 years—so you can be 80 years off right from the start.

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