Raf VAN LAERE
After studies in history and oriental languages in Ghent and Paris I worked for over 30 years as an official in the provincial administration of Limburg (B) and was mainly active in different branches in one way or another related to cultural heritage. For several years I was member of the Board of the Société royale de numismatique de Belgique. Currently I am one of the directors of the Revue belge de numismatique et de sigillographie. I am still member of the Board of the Académie royale d’archéologie de Belgique and of its Commission for publications.
Although I consider myself to be a generalist, my research focuses on medieval and modern coins of the Southern Low Countries. Material aspects of coins and medals are my first concern. I prefer to leave the beaten track by tackling subjects that are rarely studied by others such as hoards of the 20th century, by looking at coins from a different angle e.g. by tracing their para-monetary use or by combining numismatic data with information supplied by other historical sciences such as toponomy. This approach makes interdisciplinary collaboration essential for my research. I am also involved in the experiments made by the German workshop Experimentelle Numismatik, based in Munich, that is trying to reconstruct different aspects of minting techniques throughout the ages.
Lead cloth and other seals are my second field of interest. These objects are heavily understudied in spite of the valuable information they can provide on medieval and modern trade links.