The first round of Oxford University Museums Collaborative Doctoral Partnerships began in October 2016, in partnership with the Department of Classics and Ancient History at the University of Warwick, the Department of History of Art at the University of Cambridge, and the Department of History at Durham University. The studentships were awarded to George Green, and Emily Roy, and details of their research are provided below.
George Green (University of Warwick in collaboration with the Ashmolean Museum)
PhD Thesis title: Gold Coinage in the Roman World
George studied at state comprehensives in the London borough of Redbridge before reading for an undergraduate degree in Classical Archaeology and Ancient History at Christ Church, Oxford, from which he graduated with a First Class degree in 2015. He won the Thomas Whitcombe Greene Prize for the best performance in Classical Art and Archaeology, and the Gibbs Prize in Classical Archaeology and Ancient History for his dissertation on coin hoarding in late Republican and early Augustan Spain. During his undergraduate studies he excavated part of a Roman port town in Menorca with the Sanisera Field School, and the picture shown here is of George holding one of the coins that he excavated there.
George studied for a Masters Degree at Regent’s Park College, Oxford which focused on Roman numismatics, materials analysis and the archaeology of the middle Imperial period, supported by grants from the Humanitarian Trust and the Sarum St Michael Educational Trust, from which he graduated with a Distinction in 2016.
George’s CDP doctoral project is based at the Department of Classics and Ancient History at the University of Warwick, and is a collaboration with the Ashmolean Museum. It it jointly supervised by Professor Kevin Butcher (Warwick), Professor Christopher Howgego (Ashmolean Museum, Oxford) and Professor Mark Pollard (Research Laboratory for Archaeology and the History of Art, Oxford). His research seeks to study the metallurgy and circulation of Roman gold coinage of the first century BC to fifth century AD, in order to define its significance within Roman society and the Roman economy. It will draw on the combined expertise of Warwick and Oxford in historical metallurgy, scientific analytical techniques, and monetary history.
George’s research will combine evidence for metallurgy and circulation to enable an increased understanding of the relationship of gold coinage to the development of Roman society and economy. It will aim to produce a reliable set of metallurgical analyses for Roman gold coinage, a set of data on metal sources and production technology, a new set of metrological data, and a delineation and analysis of patterns of circulation and deposition over time. George will use the representative sample of over 600 Roman gold coins held by the Ashmolean Museum as the basis for his metallurgical study. He will also make use of existing data on gold coinage in the Oxford Coin Hoards of the Roman Empire Project.
George’s research questions such as: To what extent can metal analyses illuminate metal sources and metal flows as well as fineness? At what point did gold coin cease to circulate at a fixed nominal value and become more like a circulating ingot? Was the apparent scarcity of gold in the third century AD due to export from the Empire, most importantly through subsidies paid to ‘barbarians’? What was the nature of the major new source of gold in the fourth century AD? The initial provision of gold to the military in the early empire is evident, but what was the initial function of gold after that? And, by the fourth century AD control of gold appears to have been both a marker of, and a means to enhance, social hierarchy throughout the provinces: how did this change come about?
Emily Roy (University of Cambridge in collaboration with the Ashmolean Museum)
Emily completed her BA in History of Art at Oxford in 2010. After internships in the Ashmolean Print Room and Waddesdon Manor (National Trust), she completed her MA in Russian Studies at the School of Slavonic and East European Studies, UCL. Emily returned to work at Waddesdon Manor in 2012 where she has held a range of curatorial and collections management roles, most recently that of curator.
Emily’s CDP doctoral project is based at the Department of History of Art University of Cambridge, and is jointly supervised by Dr Rosalind Blakesley and Dr Wendy Pullan (University of Cambridge) and Dr Catherine Whistler (Ashmolean Museum, Oxford).
Emily’s research uses an interdisciplinary approach to examine key questions on modernization, the city and cross-cultural exchanges in Enlightenment and 19th-century Russia. The primary, unpublished research material is found in the Talbot Collection in the Ashmolean Museum, a unique and virtually unknown resource of c.1000 prints dating from the early 18th to the mid-19th century, whose imagery relates to the construction and character of St Petersburg as an imperial capital. This collection was assembled in the west during the Soviet era by Gwenoch David Talbot (d.1972), who had been a successful businessman in pre-revolutionary Russia.
The engravings, etchings and lithographs that he amassed testify to the vitality and range of print culture in Enlightenment Russia, revealing state-sponsored initiatives, entrepreneurial outputs, the adoption of new technologies, and the existence of transnational networks of production and publication. These and other issues will be examined to illuminate the nature of print production and dissemination within the context of Russian modernization and urbanization, against a backdrop of rapid social and political change.