Numismatic Treasure of Svaneti political-economic and ethnological-confessional aspects (5th century BC -18 century AD) by Maia Pataridze
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Size: 210 x 270 mm
208 pages, paperback.
The main task of numismatics as a scientific discipline is the study of coins and hoards of coins.
Throughout history, however, people would ascribe to the coins the characteristics of a sacred object with magic powers besides their primary function and they would thus became attributes of various rituals and traditional customs. For years, both Georgian and foreign numismatists regarded coins used for ritual as jewellery and amulets and votive offerings rather as subject of ethnological study and refused them the capacity of reflecting political-economic processes.
It can even be said that no fundamental study of rituals and traditional customs that imply coins as an imminent part have been undertaken by Georgian ethnologists to date. Researchers usually just attest the designation and usage of coins as historical facts. The same is true of ethnoarchaeological study. The integration of archaeological data within the context of still existent nonmaterial traditions of modern society is extremely valuable with the view of ascertaining of continuity between ancient and modern modes of everyday life. Presented work implies this very type of research backed with numismatic data. The scholarly study of hoards of coins had been conducted in Georgia for already two centuries. Considerable effort was put into identification of composition, topography and chronology of hoards attributed to various historical epochs.
It should be noted though, that the work of systematisation and classification of hoards according to the circumstances and context of their discovery is still to be done. We mean typological classification of hoards into different ethnological-confessional coin complexes in the first place. Numerous hoards of coins discovered in Svaneti have been hitherto unknown for the scholarly circles, therefore been absent from topographic maps of the numismatic finds. This, in turn, impeded reconstruction of the full picture of spread of the various coin types. We believe that the presented research will somehow contribute to the development of numismatic science. The present work analyses the ethnological aspects of the numismatic materials from Svaneti (Mestia-Ushguli). Moreover, it is intended to introduce to the research community hitherto unknown coins. Our main task was to conduct a thorough complex ethnological-numismatic study and to introduce to the students of numismatics all those coins that at the first sight.