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TITLE Overstriking at Gortyna: insights and new perspectives
AUTHOR Carbone Federico
LANGUAGE Αγγλικά / English
PUBLISH DATE 06.12.2018
KEYWORDS Gortyn, overstrikes, mercenaries, Cretan economy, coin production, Cyrenaica, Phaistos
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As with many Cretan cities, a feature of the coin production of Gortyna is the continuous re-use of specimens from other mints; in fact, one hypothesis considers that the beginning of local coinage might be connected to the end of the circulation of foreign coins, and particularly those from Aegina.

In light of new data, the case of Gortyna must be reconsidered, distinguishing among the different periods of autonomous activity of the mint: by the analysis of a sample of coins, it is possible to identify the percentage of overstruck coins and the provenance of the flans. It becomes possible to understand the trends attested in coin production in the Hellenistic period, which have been linked with the homecoming of groups of mercenaries after they had been paid with coins struck by Cyrenaican mints or as part of the booty. In this case, it becomes clear that, although the quantity of overstruck coins was quite significant in the Hellenistic period, a large amount of coins can be traced to Cretan towns. This, however, does not happen in the nearby city of Phaistos and might mean a choice of the monetary policy of Gortyna.

Based on this data, we suggest a new hypothesis which may open further perspectives of study on the understanding of overstriking, through the reading of which the most meaningful features of Cretan economy can be integrated.