Imitations from a Balkan Hoard 1
Sometime in 2003 or 2004, a hoard of some 1000 Republican denarii was found in an undisclosed locale in the Balkans, supposedly by a farmer working in his fields. Of these coins, over 60 were unmistakably Dacian imitations. I was able to obtain 32 pieces from that group. The following pages will illustrate and describe these coins. My negotiations to purchase the remaining imitations from the hoard ultimately failed when a parcel containing them was lost in the mail. Fortunately, this second group had been photographed prior to being shipped. The group photos on this page are of those coins. I hope eventually to edit these photos into a more readable format, but for now the raw images will have to suffice. In my opinion, a handful of coins in this group are not imitations, but are mis-struck or otherwise unusual appearing official coins. I'm grateful to have obtained the more interesting of the two groups. Several pieces in the second group are die duplicates of coins in the first. A count of such coins is sufficient, and will be provided in the following pages. Noteworthy are two coins in the second row from the top, the second and fifth coins from the left in the photos below. These share a reverse die, but were struck with different obverse dies. (There is also a two-sided die match for the second coin from the left in the group I did obtain, see M99.) This link is important. I've found only a small number of such links, which can in principle allow distinct groups of imitations to be definitively associated together.
In my view, all of these imitations are Dacian, mostly Monetary Imitations. Therefore, I've listed these continuing the Class A, Group II numbering. One piece is a Class A, Group III Hybrid, H4. I've included it here, to maintain the integrity of the hoard, and also have added it to the A/III section.
It's interesting that the imitations in the hoard show significantly less wear than the official Republican pieces, although I was able to examine only some of those coins, and that hastily. To me, this speaks against the proposal of the Romanian numismatists, more recently reiterated more rigorously by Kris Lockyear, that many or most of the apparently Republican denarii found in Romania and northern Bulgaria are actually very faithful local productions, perhaps struck from dies transferred from official coins. If that were the case, I would have expected the imitations and "official" pieces in this hoard to exhibit more or less the same amount of wear.
Second part of Balkan Hoard, obverse
Second part of Balkan Hoard, reverse