Prof. Dr. Fleur Kemmers


Fleur Kemmers (Rhenen, the Netherlands, 1977) studied Euro­pean Archaeology at the University of Amsterdam, with a fo­cus on the Archaeology of the Northwestern Roman Provin­ces. After completing her MA (with distinction) in 2000 she started her PhD at the Radboud University Nijmegen. Her re­search dealt with the Roman coin finds from the legionary for­tress at Nijmegen, in which she combined archaeological data­sets with historical and numismatic data, leading to important new insights in coin loss, use and supply in the Lower Rhine area in the first century AD. In 2005 she successfully de­fended her thesis ´Coins for a Legion´, which won several pri­zes (a.o. W.A. van Es-prijs 2005) and was published in 2006. From 2006 to 2009 she had a VENI-postdoctoral re­search grant from the Netherlands Organisation for Scientific Re­search (NWO), also at the Radboud University Nijmegen, which focused on supra-regional patterns of coin supply to the army in the Severan period and the role of coinage in imperial com­munication. Simultaneously she ran her own archae­ological con­sultancy busi­ness, which specialized in identifying and ana­lyzing coin finds from archaeological exca­vations in The Netherlands. In 2010 she was granted the Lichtenberg-pro­fessur Coinage and Money in the Graeco-Roman World at the Goethe University, Frankfurt am Main.


The general aim of my research is to gain a better understanding of the uses and functions of coins and money in Antiquity. Thanks to the monumentous work of generations of scholars we presently know the broad outlines and typologies of the coinages of antiquity. Based on this starting point, I am intrigued by the question what people actually did with these coins and what the concept of coinage did to people. A better comprehension of coinage and money also contributes to overarching archaeological and historical questions concerning power relations, economic traffic and trade, mechanisms of communication and self-display and so on. The methods for answering these fascinating questions lie in integrating the coins in their archaeological, societal and historical contexts.

My past research has dealt intensively with coin finds, ranging from the site level to supraregional com­parative studies. My current research concerns the function of coinage as an instrument of power in the Western Mediterranean in the period 500-100 BC. In particular, I study the patterns and processes in the adoption and consequent adaptation of the concept of coinage both before and after the Roman denarius system started to dominate the area. To do this I investigate both numismatic parameters (legends, images, denominations, metrology) and the archaeological contexts of hoards and site finds.

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