Opendata, web and dolomites


Silver Isotopes and the Rise of Money

Total Cost €


EC-Contrib. €






 SILVER project word cloud

Explore the words cloud of the SILVER project. It provides you a very rough idea of what is the project "SILVER" about.

societies    historians    near    history    finances    causes    understand    treasure    ag    athens    sources    sulfosalts    democracy    tested    mineral    coinage    ores    mines    contributions    contrast    isotope    cycle    mined    community    economic    exchange    roman    republic    trace    captured    greek    military    mediterranean    prevalence    quantitative    silver    shared    context    metal    fingerprinting    light    earliest    artefacts    questions    persian    sb    alexander    radical    precursor    cu    211    provenance    galena    spread    sourced    shed    ancient    first    scientific    world    distinctive    bc    additives    routes    initiated    quantify    numismatists    eastern    model    isotopes    intrinsic    map    monetization    accounted    temperature    extract    innovation    primary    sinks    stable    precision    pbs    coinages    unminted    lyon    pb    impurities    precious    emergence    monetary    belief    antique    pave    expertise    transfer    global    reform   

Project "SILVER" data sheet

The following table provides information about the project.


Organization address
city: LYON
postcode: 69342
website: n.a.

contact info
title: n.a.
name: n.a.
surname: n.a.
function: n.a.
email: n.a.
telephone: n.a.
fax: n.a.

 Coordinator Country France [FR]
 Total cost 2˙496˙242 €
 EC max contribution 2˙496˙242 € (100%)
 Programme 1. H2020-EU.1.1. (EXCELLENT SCIENCE - European Research Council (ERC))
 Code Call ERC-2016-ADG
 Funding Scheme ERC-ADG
 Starting year 2017
 Duration (year-month-day) from 2017-10-01   to  2022-09-30


Take a look of project's partnership.

# participants  country  role  EC contrib. [€] 
1    ECOLE NORMALE SUPERIEURE DE LYON FR (LYON) coordinator 2˙332˙285.00
2    FONDATION POUR L'UNIVERSITE DE LYON FR (LYON) participant 163˙957.00


 Project objective

Silver was the primary metal of economic exchange and military finances in ancient Mediterranean and Near-Eastern societies. Silver isotopes will help quantify monetization of these societies by identifying Ag mineral sources, monetary sinks, and its major transfer routes. High-precision stable Ag isotope analysis initiated in Lyon has shed new light on the provenance of silver coinage. This is because Ag isotopes are distinctive of coinage’s intrinsic value in contrast to traditionally-used Pb and Cu isotopes, which may characterize impurities or additives. The common belief that PbS (galena) ores accounted most of the silver mined in the antique world will be tested. We will extract Ag from ores around the Mediterranean and test PbS prevalence over As and Sb sulfosalts and low-temperature ores with Ag, Cu, and Pb isotopes and trace elements. Our work will address major questions: (i) understand the sources of unminted silver as a precursor to coinage; (ii) use Ag isotope fingerprinting of the earliest coinages of Athens to identify the contributions of Greek mines to the development of the world’s first democracy; (iii) map the Greek and Persian mines which sourced the treasure captured by Alexander the Great, and investigate the spread of its silver; (iv) study the causes of the monetary reform of the Roman Republic in 211 BC; and (v) model the silver cycle from mines to coinage and artefacts in its economic context. In the short term this project represents radical scientific innovation, which will pave the way for a global and quantitative understanding of the history of monetary development in the ancient Mediterranean. In the long term, it will contribute to the emergence of a community of analysts, numismatists and economic historians with shared expertise about the monetization of ancient societies and their management of precious metal resources.


year authors and title journal last update
List of publications.
2018 Toshiyuki Fujii, Francis Albarede
109 Ag– 107 Ag fractionation in fluids with applications to ore deposits, archeometry, and cosmochemistry
published pages: 37-49, ISSN: 0016-7037, DOI: 10.1016/j.gca.2018.05.013
Geochimica et Cosmochimica Acta 234 2020-01-27

Are you the coordinator (or a participant) of this project? Plaese send me more information about the "SILVER" project.

For instance: the website url (it has not provided by EU-opendata yet), the logo, a more detailed description of the project (in plain text as a rtf file or a word file), some pictures (as picture files, not embedded into any word file), twitter account, linkedin page, etc.

Send me an  email ( and I put them in your project's page as son as possible.

Thanks. And then put a link of this page into your project's website.

The information about "SILVER" are provided by the European Opendata Portal: CORDIS opendata.

More projects from the same programme (H2020-EU.1.1.)


The Enemy of the Good: Towards a Theory of Moral Progress

Read More  

SUExp (2018)

Strategic Uncertainty: An Experimental Investigation

Read More  


The Mass Politics of Disintegration

Read More