Coins from the Anglo-American Project in Pompeii

Project team

  • Richard Hobbs, project leader
  • Stephen Crummy

Department of Prehistory and Europe 


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This project constitutes a study of around 1,500 coins recovered from the excavation of a single insula block at the famous Roman city of Pompeii, Italy.

The block has been fully excavated by a team led by the University of Bradford with colleagues from universities and museums in the USA and Australia, who have been working in Pompeii since 1995. The insula, which is just by the Herculaneum gate, contains two large houses – the House of the Vestal Virgins, and the House of the Surgeon – as well as a number of commercial areas, such as workshops and street-side bars.

The coinage assemblage is unique. It is the one of only a few well stratified groups of coins recovered from archaeological layers dating to before AD 79, the year in which the city was destroyed by the eruption of Vesuvius, which had such a devastating effect in this particular part of Campania. The coins have the potential to greatly inform our understanding of the economic life of Pompeii and its hinterland in the Roman Republican period.


The main objective of the project is to publish a catalogue of the coinage assemblage, which includes silver and bronze coins of the Roman Republican and Roman Imperial periods, as well as locally produced types. The other objective is to understand how the coins were used and lost within the confines of the insula block, and what the coins tells us about the economy of Pompeii and its hinterland.

This project has now been completed.


R. Hobbs, Currency & Exchange in ancient Pompeii. Coins from the AAPP excavations at Regio VI, Insula 1. Institute of Classical Studies, 2013

R. Hobbs, ‘Coins from the AAPP excavations, Pompeii: update 1’, Numismatic Chronicle, 165 (2005), pp. 377-81

R. Hobbs, ‘Coins from the AAPP excavations, Pompeii’, Numismatic Chronicle 163 (2003), pp. 377-79

R. Hobbs, ‘Dirty luca’, Current World Archaeology, 4 (March/ April, 2004), pp. 44-5

bronze coin

A locally struck bronze coin found during excavations at Pompeii, Italy