On Jan. 16, the economic historian and author, Peter van Alfen, received The Burnett Anderson Memorial Award for Excellence in Numismatic Writing. Presentation of the award took place at the American Numismatic Society's Annual Gala Dinner, held at the Harvard Club in New York City.
The Burnett Anderson Memorial Award for Excellence in Numismatic Writing is presented annually to a researcher, author, or journalist in recognition of his or her body of work and career contributions in numismatics. First conferred posthumously to its namesake in 1999, at the American Numismatic Association's (ANA) 108th Anniversary convention, the award is intended to recognize quality and integrity in numismatic wordsmithing of every kind.
A scholar with wide-ranging interests, van Alfen's research includes ancient Mediterranean and Near Eastern monetary, fiscal and trade systems spanning the late Bronze Age to the early Byzantine period. He has published on a variety of topics, such as Mycenaean administration, Athenian public finance and coinage, market regulations, Arabian monetization, and Late Roman amphoras.
His interests also extend to European and U.S. medallic art of the 15th to 21st centuries. While overseeing this portion of the ANS collection, he has curated exhibitions and published works about medals relating to the Olympics, World's Fairs, ophthalmology, optics, and World War I.
His current projects include PELLA, an online resource devoted to the coinage of the Argead kings of Macedonia; Art of Devastation, which he co-wrote with Patricia Phagan; an online resource of World War I medallic art and a book on the political economy of archaic Greek coinage.
Van Alfen's recent awards include membership in the Institute for Advanced Study in Princeton, N.J., and a Loeb Classical Library Foundation Fellowship from Harvard University.
The Burnett Anderson Memorial Award for Excellence in Numismatic Writing is sponsored by Krause Publications and an anonymous donor. The recipient is selected in a cooperative process by the ANA, the American Numismatic Society, and the Numismatic Literary Guild.