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Pierced, looped and framed: The (re)use of gold coins in jewellery in sixth- and seventh-century England

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Peer-reviewed

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Authors

Haworth, Katie 
Clarke-Neish, Kelly M 

Abstract

The early medieval coin-using economy is traditionally conceptualised as a masculine sphere with minimal female involvement. This article examines a corpus of 135 gold and pale gold coins of the later sixth and seventh centuries that underwent modification as coin-pendants, a form of jewellery that belongs almost exclusively to feminine contexts. Analysis of this corpus reveals that these coins were valued as coins, with their attendant symbolic and economic significance, and that this transformation into jewellery did not irreversibly remove them from circulation, offering important evidence for female engagement in the seventh-century coin-based economy.

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Journal Title

Early Medieval Europe

Conference Name

Journal ISSN

0963-9462
1468-0254

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Publisher

Wiley

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