Sylloge Nummorum Graecorum Spain Online: The Obulco Mint

Project leader:
• Paloma Otero Morán, Department of Numismatics and Medals

Working group:
• Paloma Otero Morán, Department of Numismatics and Medals
• Paula Grañeda Miñón, Department of Numismatics and Medals
• Documentation Department

Participants:
• Alicia Arévalo, University of Cádiz

Under the auspices of:
• International Numismatic Commission (INC) (web)
• International Union of Academies (web)

Unit of Obulco

Sylloge Nummorum Graecorum (SNG), “Greek coin collections”, is an international project whose aim is to publish and disseminate basic catalogues of coins issued in the Greek cultural context—in the broadest sense of this concept, ranging from Europe’s Atlantic coast to northwest India, but excluding Roman coinage—and held in the collections of museums around the world, in order to promote the knowledge and research of coins in the ancient world.

The SNG catalogues are used around the world as references for cataloguing and studying ancient coins. Spain joined this project in 1994 with the incorporation of the National Archaeological Museum’s collection of coins from ancient Iberia, the largest in the world. Three volumes have been printed on this collection to date, and it has been accessible online since 2007.

Unit of Obulco,reverse

In keeping with this broad approach, the SNG catalogues include the issues of ancient Spain, from the fifth century BC when the first were struck in the Greek city of Emporion until their disappearance in the first century AD.

The city of Obulco (Porcuna, Jaén) stood at the intersection of the main roads linking upper and lower Andalusia, in a fertile territory used to cultivate vast fields of grain. This strategic economic and commercial centre was also home to one of the most important coin workshops on the Iberian Peninsula in the second and first centuries BC. Obulco probably began striking coins in the early third century BC, although the mint was most active between 165 and 80 BC.

The Obulco Mint is represented in the museum by nearly 600 pieces, which were published in print in 2005 and will now be made more widely visible thanks to an online catalogue containing a basic inventory description and digital images of the obverse and reverse of each coin.