Coin of the Realm

TitleCoin of the Realm
Publication TypeCase Study
Year of Publication2014
AuthorsConnolly, P, Althaus, RA, Skipper, RB
Date Published12/2014
Publication LanguageEnglish
AbstractSometime between 80 and 50 BCE, a Roman cargo vessel carrying over 1,000 lead ingots that were apparently destined to be turned into slingshot shot, sank off the coast of Sardinia. The shipwreck was discovered in 1988 and the ingots were removed for study a few years later. Archaeologists often learn a great deal about the technology and culture of the ancient Romans by preserving and studying such lead artifacts. This lead is also free from radioactivity and is prized for use as a shield around certain sensitive detectors used for research. The demand for Roman lead is only likely to grow, putting archaeologists and physicists at odds.
NotesCase from the 2015 Intercollegiate Ethics Bowl National Competition © Peggy Connolly, Ruth Ann Althaus, Robert Boyd Skipper 2014