Teaching with Coins Remotely

I am back! This first teaching semester as a new assistant professor/curator has been a tough one, especially during pandemic times, so I have had to leave the blog to the side by necessity. But I am happy to say I have been coin-busy as well.  As part of my class “Long Distance Trade in Antiquity,” my colleague Prof. Janet Richards and I set up the curatorial lab so we could teach remotely with objects (coins, in my case) and it was incredibly successful!


Here are the products we used:

  • A USB Document Camera, which is compatible with Zoom, to be able to focus on the objects. I was quite happy with the quality of it. 


 A Ring Light with Tripod stand (we have somewhat awkward lighting in the lab for focusing on small objects). There are A TON of options but we ended up going with this one:

  •  Prof. Richards also ended up using a handheld microscope for some of the objects she was using to teach. I have used this one myself when I am in the field studying ceramic fabrics and I highly recommend it.

These all need a USB Type A port so make sure you have the appropriate adapters for your computer (especially if you have the newer Mac computers). And if you plan to use all three at the same time you might need a multi-port hub.

 Given the wonderful online resources available nowadays for numismatics (listed below), I was able to have the students look for coin types from their laptops, and some of them even managed to read the Greek legend (without previous background in ancient Greek!). So a good time was had by all.


Online Resources We Used

Ptolemaic Coins Online (PCO)

Seleucid Coins Online (SCO)

Antigonid Coins Online (AGCO)

PELLA (coinage of Philip II of Macedon, Alexander, and Philip III Arrhidaeus)

Online Coins of the Roman Empire (OCRE)

Coinage of the Roman Republic Online (CRRO)

Roman Provincial Coinage Online (RPC)

Coin Hoards of the Roman Empire

Münzkabinett Berlin Online Catalogue

Framing the Late Antique and Early Medieval Economy (FLAME)

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