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Meet the team working on the RACOM project

Professor Kevin Butcher - Principal Investigator

Kevin Butcher is a specialist in the ancient monetary economy and has been working on the interpretation of coin finds and analytical results of ancient silver coinage for thirty years, employing the data in a technical, social, and economic framework, and has published extensively on the subject. A full profile is available here.

Dr Matthew Ponting

Collaborator Matthew Ponting is Senior Lecturer at the University of Liverpool and is Manager of the Elizabeth Slater Archaeometry Laboratories there; he has some three decades of experience in the sampling and scientific analysis of ancient silver coinage, metallographic analysis and the interpretation of the data. A full profile is available here.

Dr Adrian Hillier

Collaborator Adrian Hiller is Researcher at the ISIS Neutron and Muon Facility, STFC Rutherford Appleton Laboratory, UK, and leads the development of the technique using μXES for elemental analysis. ISIS Neutron and Muon Source is a world-leading centre for research at the STFC Rutherford Appleton Laboratory near Oxford. Their suite of neutron and muon instruments give unique insights into the properties of materials on the atomic scale.​ Further information about the laboratory is available here.

Chris Waite - Project Administrator

Chris WaiteChris Waite is the project's dedicated administrator. He is responsible for project communications and impact/public engagement strategy, arranging travel and events, project financial management, ERC reporting requirements and maintains the project database. Chris has worked at the University of Warwick since 2017 in a variety of project administration roles. He is currently also studying an MA in Translation and Cultures at Warwick.

Chris can be contacted on c dot waite at warwick dot ac dot uk and he also tweets in a project capacity as @RomeCoin

Post-doctoral researchers

The project will employ three post-doctoral researchers, two based at Liverpool and one based at Warwick. Details of the job opportunities will be posted once they are available.

Dr Tom Elliot, University of Liverpool

Dr Tom Elliot, RACOM Post Doctoral Fellow, University of Liverpool

Tom Elliot is a Postdoctoral Research Associate at the University of Liverpool, with specialisms in Laser Ablation Inductively-Coupled Plasma Mass Spectrometry (LA-ICP-MS) and Machine Learning. Prior to investigating coins, his research focussed on identifying the geological source of Mesolithic flint artefacts from the Lower Wye Valley on the England-Wales border to evidence the mobility and exchange practices of the communities who inhabited the region.

Tom will be working on comparative analyses of coin samples, utilising inductively coupled-plasma mass spectrometry and laser sampling (LA-ICP-MS) in particular. The position will involve setting-up suitable analytical protocols and running samples using solution-based methods. In tandem, a detailed survey of existing methodologies for LA-ICP-MS will be undertaken. He will develop and validate a unique and specific methodology for the LA-ICP-MS of silver-alloy coins. This would then be applied to purchased coins that have been subjected to detailed metallography and analysis of samples drilled in the normal fashion.

Tom will also assist Dr Adrian Hillier at the ISIS facility (STFC Rutherford Appleton Laboratories, Harwell) with a newly developed technique using negative muons, µXES analysis. This technique offers an innovative and non-destructive method for sampling coins. Some of the coins will also have been analysed using drilled samples and examined by metallography; others that are too small or thin to be sampled will provide new data on composition. The aim will be to evaluate the use of µXES for the project.

You can contact Tom at T dot Elliot at liverpool dot ac dot uk

Dr Eleni Papaefthymiou, University of Warwick

Eleni Papaefthymiou

Dr Eleni Papaefthymiou studied Ancient Greek History and Archaeology, obtaining a Ph.D. at the University of Paris IV-Sorbonne under the direction of Professor Georges Le Rider. She worked in Paris, Athens and London in the private and public sector manipulating large numismatic collections, coin hoards and excavation finds. Her research interests, and publications, focus particularly on Hellenistic Greek - civic and federal - and Roman Provincial coinages and economy of mainland Greece, the Balkans and Asia Minor. Since 2010 she is the editor of Nomismatika Khronika, the Greek numismatic journal of the Hellenic Numismatic Society.

Dr Papaefthymiou, as Research Fellow in Hellenistic and Roman Republican Numismatics, is working under the supervision of Professor Kevin Butcher on coin circulation of Roman Republican and Greek coinages (civic and federal). She will publish articles on coin circulation and will assist Kevin Butcher in the editing of the volume of papers of the project conference, which will take place in Rome in 2023.

You can contact Eleni on Eleni dot Papaefthymiou at warwick dot ac dot uk

Post-doctoral researcher -University of Liverpool

The remaining post-doctoral position will be working with lead isotope data manipulation. The position will be for two years from September 2022 to August 2024 based at the University of Liverpool.