Subject to Change: the exploration of meaning behind an Early Christian coin “hoard”
In the 1950s, researchers moving the Kelibia baptism mosaic font from Demna to the Bardo museum, in Tunis, came across a small find of coins under the mosaic floor. Researchers explained the presence of this unusual deposit as a “hoard”. This account dovetailed with the historical narrative of the time, and implied that the coins were buried hastily ahead of the destructive Vandal invasion of North Africa. As the coins remain the only datable evidence on site, their presence in the building not only underpins our understanding of the site’s history but more importantly, these coins afford us a glimpse behind the intent of an Early Christian community. Moreover, they may suggest the continuation of Roman rites. Considering a more modern understanding of North African Late Antiquity, and due to one striking detail, I suggest possible new interpretations for the presence of these coins.
Dr. Sonia-Ingrid Anderson is an Independent Scholar, located in Canterbury, New Zealand.
Online, 12 October 2021, 1630 – 1730 AEST.
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