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Name:  Carthage 1945 Hoard
Brief biography:  A hoard of between 32 and 72 gold solidi found at the site of Carthage in 1945.

The Carthage 1945 Hoard is a curious one. It appears to be typical of a seventh century gold hoard in that it contains coins from a wide chronological range, but how wide that is is dependent upon what was part of the original hoard and what was presented with it. Philip Whitting, who analysed the hoard for the Numismatic Chronicle, was of the opinion that only those coins of the Carthage mint were part of it, however, before the Byzantines began striking gold coins at Carthage following the city’s recapture in 533, the mint produced Vandal silver and base coins only, so it is entirely plausible that the earlier Constantinopolitan gold coins circulated there. Furthermore, we know nothing of the person who buried the coins, perhaps their family had reached North Africa sometime later and the hoard represented inherited family wealth.

The wide chronological range of the hoard, typical for the period, is suggestive that gold coins were circulating in the Byzantine Empire on the basis of their gold content, regardless of which emperor the coin was struck for.

Whatever the precise contents, the hoard has a terminus post quem of 646, the same year that the Exarch Gregory declared himself Emperor, raising the revolt flag over a Byzantine North Africa amidst the ongoing conflict with the Caliphate, which arguably claimed Gregory’s life at the battle of Sufetula the following year. This hoard was almost certainly buried to protect its contents (between 32 and 72 gold coins) from the ravages of war.

The hoard is discussed in detail in Whitting’s article for the Numismatic Chronicle, including an inventory of the individual coins.

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