About four months ago, I was contacted by the RAM (Roman Archaeological Museum) Oudenburg scientific collaborator and city archaeologist. The city had just acquired, through various means and careful negotiation, a Roman hoard found in 1970 in a load of sand mined in Roksem, a hamlet that is now part of the city of Oudenburg.
Since their discovery, the bronze (38 sestertii) and silver (11 denarii) coins and the cup they came in, had been residing in private hands, only to be shown to the public in 1995 as part of an exhibition, hosted by the city of Ostend. The earliest coins date back to the reign of emperor Vespasianus (69-79 AD), the oldest to that of Balbinus (238 AD). The hoard, like many others, may have been entrusted to the ground under Gallienus (253-268 AD) and Postumus (260-269 AD), at a time when the coastal area was raided by Germanic marauders coming in via the North Sea, and when the coastal area became increasingly wet, heralding huge economic consequences, such as the collapse of salt winning and sheep breeding. More information can be found here and here.
I was asked about a week before the official handover to make a cornucopia shot of the coins, to be used in digital and printed form by the museum. It's a classic shot, which can be a bit tricky to execute: how does one arrange 49 coins, of two kinds, in a way that looks like they've randomly flowed out of the cup?
Several versions later (the client wasn't present during the shoot, so I tried out a number of small variations while staying within the theme,) I naturally couldn't resist the urge to take it a step further. And with the embargo lifted since the beginning of 2019, I'm now able to show the results of the shoot.
Afterwards, I was kindly invited to the formal handover event of the hoard to the city/museum, which turned out to be rather intimate, involving only the people who had a close connection to the hoard (so I was actually a bit out of place). Nevertheless, it gave me an opportunity to have an enjoyable chat with a former university professor (Gallo-Roman archaeology) of mine (and author of the second text referred to above), which I don't remember having met since taking his classes. Years go by quickly ...