Messier Die Map


Same data from yesterday (Schaefer’s archive on 419/1).  I double checked my map against archive again for accuracy.  I found a couple I’d missed in my original transcriptions and corrected them.  Good reminder to always check this kind of work.  I also wanted to see if there were any patterns with the long and short reverse legends. I at first stuck with the traditional ‘sequence’ approach to mapping of my last post.  But things were so criss-crossy It didn’t feel like it made any particular sense.  So I decided to try a free form untangling as it were.

What have I learned?    Some reverse dies were only used with one obverse.  Approximately 40% of reverse dies are used with only one obverse die.  Some 25% of obverse dies have only one reverse.  Approximately 40% of obverse dies pair with 3 or more reverses.  Just over 20% of reverses pair with 3 or more obverses.  Some of the obverses (e.g. 10b) show heavy usage through die flaws.

What does it mean?  It seems likely that a number of dies were created before production started that at most times at least two anvils were in operation and that their was a shared die box for reverse dies.  The pairings and the intensity of usage probably means that certain dies were used with greater consistence but pairings were in no way controlled.

Palm branch is more likely to be paired with a long legend.  Priestly instruments with a short, but exceptions to both tendency are known. I’m agnostic about whether priestly instruments-short legend is the start of the series or the end of it.

Staring at obverse I’m pretty confident that the goddess is Venus Victrix and that means we need to think about the Pompeian angle with the politics of the series as a whole.





Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s