Department of History and Archaeology Organizes Workshop on Numismatics
Three visiting French scholars held an intensive workshop
at Birzeit University on the field of archeology and the study of coins, also
called numismatics. The workshop was organized by BZUrsquo;s Department of History
and Archaeology and sponsored by the Institut Franccedil;ais du Proche-Orient (IFPO),
the French Consulate, and the Eacute;cole Biblique et Archeacute;ologique Franccedil;aise in
Jerusalem from December 3-7, 2012.
Professors Gaeuml;lle Theacute;venin and Jean-Sylvain
Caillou from the IFPO conducted a session where participants were exposed to
different methods of cleaning coins, using chemicals and electricity to bring
out the coinsrsquo; features without damaging them. Participants were able to use
dozens of actual coins to try out the techniques in practice.
In another two-day session,
Professor Thomas Bauzou from the Universiteacute; d'Orleacute;ans discussed in detail the
various methodologies for identifying Greek, Roman and Byzantine coins. Participants
were given the basic framework for identifying coins from the three periods, and
their usefulness in archeological dating and other cultural and economic aspects.
Freacute;deacute;rique Duyrat from the
Cabinet des Meacute;dailles, a division of the Bibliothegrave;que Nationale de France in Paris,
also presented an extensive seminar on interpreting coins and what they tell us
about ancient history, economy, and cultural and trade exchange. The economic
and cultural significance of Palestinian coins were discussed in the regional context
of the Levant and Egypt.
Overall, the workshop was
attended by 32 students and staff members from various Palestinian and international
universities, with a shared interest in archaeology. Additional specialized
workshops are planned for the future.