Dr Stela Doncheva and Dr Zhenya Zhekova received the “Vasso Penna Award” 2024

We have the privilege to announce that our ACCSN colleague Dr Zhenya Zhekova and co-author Dr Stela Doncheva were awarded the “Vasso Penna Award” for 2024 by the Christian Archaeological Society, Greece, for their monograph “Production of Imitative Byzantine Folles in The First Bulgarian Kingdom“, Veliko Tarnovo: Faber Publishers, 2022.

The award is granted to the best monograph or article within the broader field of numismatics and sigillography in Byzantium, in the areas of Greece and Cyprus under Latin rule, published within the last five years (2019-2023).

We congratulate the authors and wish them inspiration!


Numbers in Numismatics –
Definitions, Experiments,
Evaluation, Presentation
Prof. Dr.-Ing.
Jean Hourmouziadis
Corpus Nummorum, Berlin


29.05.2024, 13-14.30 CEST (Berlin) / 14.00 -15.30 EEST (Sofia)
Hybrid: Zoom
Meeting ID: 850 8237 4902 Passcode: 923756
Auditorium 23, Rectorate, South wing,
SU “St. Kliment Ohridski”

The necessity for handling numerical data in numismatics has increased rapidly in the past twenty years. The introduction of modern measurement techniques and computers has generated vast amounts of such data, which require a sound understanding of the quality and evaluation of this information.

The webinar will discuss the numbers, their digits, and their validity for the daily work. Statistics will be reviewed, and their shortcomings and possibilities will be presented. The principle, hardware and data characteristics of modern experimental techniques, such as the measurement of the electrical conductivity and the XRF-Analysis, will be explained. Finally, the biological and mathematical background of artificial intelligence will be discussed, as well as its shortcomings and then, by all means, promising potential for use in numismatic research.



“Researches of Ancient Thrace between Traditionality and Modernity: Theoretical Aspects and Scientific Methodology”11 – 13 April 2024, Sofia, Bulgaria, Sofia University “St. Kliment Ohridski” & Workshop 1: Ancient coin counterfeits“


CN workshop and the 3rd Heinrich Dressel lecture

At a small international workshop, the CN Team would like to present the preliminary results on natural language processing in coin descriptions and image recognition in numismatics to a selected group of users to gather additional feedback and make improvements.
They also aim to inquire about further needs and ideas from users in order to adapt the tools in the best possible way. Further opportunities for collaboration will also be explored. Wlook forward to welcoming many colleagues at the Academy in Berlin.
The Dressel Lecture by Peter Franz Mittag will conclude the program (

Wednesday, 29.11.2023: BBAW, 10117 Berlin, Unter den Linden 8, room 07W04

Welcome and Introduction
Ulrike Peter (Berlin): Project D4N4
NLP for Semantic Search | Data Quality
Karsten Tolle (Frankfurt/M.): NLP for Semantic Search and Data Quality at Corpus Nummorum
Image Recognition
Sebastian Gampe (Frankfurt/M.): Image Recognition with CNNs at Corpus Nummorum
Martin Langner (Göttingen): Computational Image Analysis in Classical Archaeology
Ralph Ewerth (Hannover): Visual Analytics and Image Recognition: the Project iART
Mario Schlapke (Weimar): Questions and Approaches to the Classification of Heavily Barbarized so-called Gaius-Lucius-Denarii on the Basis of Finds from Thuringia
Transfer and Linking
Jan Köster / Claus Franke (Berlin): Versioning System at Corpus Nummorum and its API
Alejandro Peña (Valencia): Visualization and Services (Shared Tools)
Dinner: Restaurant Via Nova II, Universitätsstraße 2, 10117 Berlin

Thursday, 30.11.2023: BBAW, 10117 Berlin, Unter den Linden 8, room 07W04
User Perspectives and Experiences
Hristina Ivanova (Zürich): Using Corpus Nummorum in Research
Lily Grozdanova / Julia Tzvetkova (Sofia): Using Corpus Nummorum with Students
Bartosz Awianowicz (Torun): Private collections in Corpus Nummorum and Corpus Nummorum from a private collector’s perspective
Florian Haymann (Frankfurt/M.): Corpus Nummorum and its Use for Coin Trade
Undefined, Vague, Uncertain
Manuel Gozalbes (Valencia): Data Uncertainties in Numismatics
Florian Thiery (Mainz): Modeling of Relative and Absolute Dating
Networking and Collaboration
Andrew Meadows (Oxford): Corpus Nummorum in the Cosmos of Nomisma and ARCH
Ulrike Peter / Vladimir F. Stolba (Berlin): Problems with “Duplicates”?
Frank Dührkohp (Göttingen): The Integration of Numismatic Data into Research Data Infrastructures
David Wigg-Wolf (Frankfurt/M.): Different Data Quality in Linked Data Sources
Bernhard Weisser et al. (Berlin): NFDI4objects und die Numismatik

Peter Franz Mittag (Köln): Bruch, Bulla, Bau: Die Medaillons der Severerzeit (3rd Heinrich Dressel lecture: Gobelin-Saal, Bode-Museum)


ACCSN meeting – 1st December Berlin

The Berlin meeting of the Ancient Coins Counterfeits Scientific Network will occur on the 1st of December, 2023.

The members of ACCSN will meet with numismatists with expertise also in the area of forgeries, who will also attend the Corpus Nummorum project meeting in Berlin (29-30/11/2023). The event will offer exciting insights into methods of forgery and a discussion on further collaboration perspectives and activities.

ACCSN Round Table
Friday, 01.12.2023
Morning Session:
BBAW, 10117 Berlin, Unter den Linden 8, room 07W04
9.30 – 10.00: Welcome Coffee
10.00 ‒ 10.10: ACCSN presentation: Concept and activities
10.10 ‒ 10.30: Forgery techniques and experimental numismatics ‒ examples and results (Jean Hourmouziadis)
10.30 ‒ 10.50: Forgery techniques and experimental numismatics ‒ examples and results (ACCSN team)
10.50 ‒ 11.20: Discussion
11.20 ‒ 12.30: Collaboration and development perspectives and ideas brainstorming
12.30 ‒ 14.00: Lunch break
Restaurant Jolly (Am Kupfergraben 4, 10117 Berlin)
Afternoon Session:
BBAW, 10117 Berlin, Unter den Linden 8, room 07W04
14.00 ‒ 16.00: ACCSN organisational meeting


10th Joint Meeting of ECFN and & 2nd BulgNR TOGETHER

The ACCSN had the opportunity to organise a workshop as part of the international conference program10th Joint Meeting of ECFN and & 2nd BulgNR TOGETHER“.

The panellist presented and elaborated on some experimental numismatic concepts for identifying artificially created worn marks on forged coins and particular case studies.


SEMINAR: Ancient Coins Forgeries – periods, expertise, examples

On the 18th of May 2023, at the Conference Hall of Sofia University “St. Kliment Ohridski,” the ACCSN organised a seminar discussing different aspects of the topic of ancient coins forgeries.

The lecturers, Prof. NCU, Dr. Habil. Bartosz Awianowicz, Prof. Dr. Dr.Sc. Dilyana Boteva-Boyanova and Stanimir Metodiev, MA, made presentations on the development of the concept of forgeries throughout the centuries, techniques to identify forged objects and specific case studies and had a vivid discussion with the audience of specialists in the area of Numismatics, but also students.

Scientific discussion

Some remarks on the re-evaluated Sponsianus coins

In recent weeks there was an intensive wave of publications in multiple languages announcing the sensational re-evaluation of numismatic material, proving the existence of the usurper emperor Sponsianus. Predominantly given were no indications that could have informed the broader public that the proposed reconsideration is, at this stage, not decisive.
To stimulate scientific discussion, it is crucial to give a platform, also to arguments addressing the issues connected to such a historical reconstruction.
Here, follow some considerations of Prof. Aleksander Bursche and Dr. Kyrylo Myzgin, leading experts in the area of Roman gold coinages from the period of the so-called soldier emperors and the topic of ancient coins counterfeits:

Opinion of A. Bursche and K. Myzgin concerning Sponsiani gold

We are pretty sure that the all-known Sponsiani gold coins (or better medailles using terminology from that time) as well as Gordianus III and Philippus known from different collections in Europe, reached them at the same time i.e. in the 18th century, are forgeries from the period.

Most arguments were presented in the contribution by Münsterberg in 1923 (in German) and by Bursche 1998, 25-29 (in Polish, unfortunately). In practice, the current authors omitted many arguments presented in them and did not engage in polemics with them.

In brief in 11 points:

1. These pieces (as the ones with the names Gordianus and Philippus) were cast. No original Roman gold from the 3rd century AD was cast. Even Barbarian coins from that period were struck.
2. The weights of individual pieces (Sponsianus, Gordian and Philippus) are much too diverse and have no connection with the Roman weight system (as always multipla have). Also, barbarian imitations of Roman aurei do not exceed 7 g in weight and almost always are pierced.
3. The obverse legend in genitive form (IMP SPONSIANI) is rather unusual for Roman coins (should be nominative: IMP SPONSIANVS or brief form), but typical for products from the 16th-18th centuries.
4. The style of the lettering is different from the letters on the original coins. Even local usurpers who ruled for a few weeks (e.g. Quietus, Julianus II) struck their coins in good style
from high-quality gold.
5. The iconography of the Sponsianus pieces is completely unusual for the 3rd-century coin. On the other hand, the corona radiata (radiate crown) at the obverse and the way of presenting it, is typical for 18th-century forgeries. On the reverse, there is a clumsy imitation of the Republican coin (RRC 242/1; 243/1). Furthermore, it seems to us almost impossible to use in the 3rd-century AD image from a republican coin minted in 134 BC. There are no examples of such a combination either in barbarian imitations or in official coinage. Silver Republican coins from the 2nd century BC were far more accessible to the 17th-18th century collector than to the moneyer of the 3rd-century crisis in the province of Dacia.
6. The coins appeared at least in 5 European collections i.e. Vienna, Glasgow, Paris, Gotha, Sibiu (German Hermanstadt) and Herzogenburg (near Vienna) in the 18th century, often in
the same set, with gold bearing the name of Gordianus and Philippus. No one such piece is known from finds made without a doubt in the 19th, 20th and early 21st centuries (metal detector
era!), despite 95% of 3rd-century Roman gold has been found in that period. If they are originals, even one new piece would have to be found in the last two hundred years.
7. The name Sponsianus could have been seen and noted in an inscription in Rome by any nobleman having classical education during his “grand tour” or a person working for him. Sponsianus medailles/forgeries received alleged provenance and context along with gold of the emperors Gordianus and Philippus, by the way also cast forgeries. In Siebenbürgen some famous hoards have been found in this period, which is why such provenance has been chosen. By the way, the presence of the title IMP from Latine imperator (emperor) in the legend of Sponsianus pieces and the absence of AVG from Augustus (typical for Roman emperors in 1st-3rd c. AD) is completely understandable from the perspective of the territory of Habsburg Empire’s competitors to the Augusti of the Wettings dynasty.
8. All these pieces were purchased for sums much higher than the value of gold. So a profit was, without doubt, the reason for the production of these forgeries.
9. We are not specialists in analytical methods, however, 93% of gold (as for the analysed Sponsianus piece) is much too low for original Roman gold, even from the late 3rd century AD, as well as Barbarian imitations (made from local gold) and is very typical for forgeries.
10. We are not sure whether the coins taken for comparison are correctly selected. From a methodological point of view, it should be first of all 3rd-century aurei with known provenance/find spot and 18th-century cast copies.
11. On what basis do the authors date the time of wear of the coins?

see also:

INC 2022

INC 2022 Podium discussion – Update

The programme of the International Numismatic Congress 2022 (September 11-16) is already available. The RT “Ancient Coins Counterfeits” will take place on 15.09. at 11 h., at the Old Library – Audiorium. Org.: Dilyana Boteva-Boyanova and Ilya Prokopov; moderator: Valentina Grigorova-Gencheva Ilya Prokopov
Dilyana Boteva-Boyanova
Jan Köster
Jonas Flueck
We are looking forward to all the questions, opinions, and ideas in a fruitful discussion on this important topic.


First International Experimental Numismatics Workshop: Expertise in the identification of forgery techniques

The first workshop of the ACCS Network took place from 29th April to 1st May 2022 at the Archaeological base in Malko Gradishte village, Bulgaria.
During the days of the workshop, under the scientific guidance and expertise of Prof. Dr. Dr.Sc. Ilya Prokopov, the participants were able to explore and test a variety of practices for the identification of forgery techniques.
The international team was involved in intensive discussions and conducted practical experiments, amongst which XRF analyses on test materials.
Together with the colleagues from the ACCS Network from Bulgaria and Germany, specialists from diverse institutions from Bulgaria and abroad attended the workshop, creating thus the opportunity not just to exchange experience but also to extend the ACCS Network. A key aspect of the event was the opportunity for the invited young scholars and students to acquire a new set of skills in the area of numismatics.
On the last day of the work program, the scholars visited important archaeological sites in the region (the Mezek Tomb and the Gluhite kamani rock-cut complex).
The workshop was a successful first event from a series of such planned by the ACCSN.

Prof. Dr. Dr.Sc. Ilya Prokopov. Photography by Velizar Eremiev-Chocho


Forgery techniques identification work session. Photography by Velizar Eremiev-Chocho
PhD Dr. Habil. Vladimir Stolba, Prof. Dr. Dr.Sc. Ilya Prokopov, Dr. Ulrike Peter and Assoc. Prof. Dr. Valentina Grigorova-Gencheva. Photography by Velizar Eremiev-Chocho
Forgery techniques identification work session. Photography by Velizar Eremiev-Chocho
Acad. Prof. François de Callataÿ and Prof. Dr. Dr.Sc. Ilya Prokopov. Photography by Velizar Eremiev-Chocho
Dr. Boyka Zlateva, Assoc. Prof. Dr. Julia Tzvetkova and Dr. Ulrike Peter. Photography by Velizar Eremiev-Chocho
Specialised lecture. Photography by Velizar Eremiev-Chocho
Specialised lecture. Photography by Velizar Eremiev-Chocho
Gluhite kamani rock-cut complex. Photography by Velizar Eremiev-Chocho
Gluhite kamani rock-cut complex. Photography by Velizar Eremiev-Chocho
Gluhite kamani rock-cut complex. Photography by Velizar Eremiev-Chocho
Gluhite kamani rock-cut complex. Photography by Velizar Eremiev-Chocho
Photography by Velizar Eremiev-Chocho
Illustration by Magdalena