ESTONIAN ACADEMY
PUBLISHERS
eesti teaduste
akadeemia kirjastus
PUBLISHED
SINCE 1997
 
Archaeology cover
Estonian Journal of Archaeology
ISSN 1736-7484 (Electronic)
ISSN 1406-2933 (Print)

Coins and tokens from a 15th-century landfill in the Kalamaja suburb of Tallinn; pp. 140–159

Full article in PDF format | 10.3176/arch.2021.2.03

Authors
Ivar Leimus, Andres Tvauri

Abstract

In 2018–2019 at least 35 000 finds were revealed on the plot at Jahu 6 in the medieval and early modern Kalamaja suburb of Tallinn, which had been brought to the disposal area together with waste and garbage from the city surrounded by the city wall. In addition, 249 coins from the 14th–15th century were found. The latter are mostly Livonian coins, first and foremost from Tallinn, less from Tartu and Riga because foreign coins constituted only 2.4 per cent. The most common denomination is pfennig. The composition of the coin assemblage confirms, with regard to its origin and nominal distribution, the previous knowledge of coin circulation in the 15th-century Livonia based on the comparative analysis of coin hoards and written sources. The fact that the temporal distribution of coins in the upper and deeper layers is rather even suggests that most of the garbage had been deposed over a rather short period of time in 1470–1480. It seems that garbage disposal may have ended some time before 1490.

The garbage layer also revealed  three counterfeit coins from an alloy of tin and lead, which imitate 15th-century Tallinn small change. Other interesting finds from the garbage layer include two tokens from an alloy of tin and lead – one of them granted the right to grind grain and the other probably malt in the mills owned by the City of Tallinn.


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