The IRIS typology was built as part of the ARCH project to fill in the gaps between existing Linked Open Data typologies devoted to Greek coinages, with the aim of providing an overview of almost all coinage traditionally falling within the purview of the discipline of Greek numismatics.

The aim in building this typology was not to create a completely new categorisation of Greek coinage, but rather, where possible, to assemble the existing state of the art in printed form and to transfer that to a Linked Open Data framework. It is thus to be regarded as the beginning of a project to describe all Greek coinage, not the end.

Types have been described on the basis of existing mint and die-studies, where they exist, or by drawing on the contents and catalogues of the major collections in London, Paris, Berlin, and New York where they do not. Bibliography is cited for each type, where possible, by reference to the catalogue of the German Archaeological Instiute (Zenon) or Worldcat. When available, we have also provided links to online versions of bibliography. We have done our best to preserve the identity of the scholars responsible in the structure of the URIs we have adopted for individual types.

Faced with a wide variety of coinages and approaches to them in modern scholarship, complete consistency in the definition of a type has been difficult to maintain. Our guiding principle has been to define types at as high a level as possible, on the basis of the main designs of the coinage. Minor differences or differences of uncertain significance have largely been elided, as have control marks and magistrates’ names. Distinctions have been made between metal and, when useful or reasonable to do so, chronology. The result, which we have come to refer to as ‘The Skeleton’, we freely admit, is not perfect; but we offer it as an entry point to a massive and currently intractable body of material in the hope that it will spur others on to create more detailed, comprehensive, and consistent works.

The labour on the creation of IRIS has been divided between Oxford and Paris. In Oxford, the overviews of the coinages of Asia Minor and parts of the Levant and Greece have been created by Professor Andrew Meadows. In Paris, a team consisting of Dr Caroline Carrier, Dr Gaëlle Thévenin, Dr Ludovic Trommenschlager, Dr Julien Olivier and M. Jérémy Artru have created the remainder of the Skeleton, for much of the time during the difficult circumstances of COVID-19 lockdown. The work of all has been edited by Prof. Meadows, Dr Olivier and Dr Frédérique Duyrat. As with the ARCH portal, technical work as been carried out by John Pybus of the Oxford E-Research Centre, building on the Numishare platform created by Ethan Gruber of the American Numismatic Society.

In its initial publication the Skeleton is illustrated entirely by coins drawn from the collection of the Departement de Monnaies Médailles et Antiques of the Bibliothèque nationale de France.