Hoard of 2300-year-old coins found in Egypt

Archaeologists excavating the Fayoum Oasis in Egypt have uncovered a large hoard of 383 bronze coins from the reign of Ptolemy III Euergetes in the 3rd century B.C.

The coins have the combined Greek-Egyptian deity Zeus-Amun on the obverse and the Ptolemaic eagle on the reverse with “Ptolemy” and “king” inscribed around it. Ptolemy III did not issue any coins with his own face on them, although his son stamped some commemorative ones after his father died.

The coins are in good condition and are the first large stash of Ptolemaic coins found. Archaeologists also found three necklaces made of ostrich eggshells at the site, a pot of kohl eyeliner from the Ottoman era, and, in randomly awesome news, the remains of an ancient prehistoric whale.

Obverse of Amun-Zeus on 3rd century bronze coins Some of the 383 3rd c. bronze coins

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4 Comments »

Comment by Sarah
2010-04-23 11:09:47

Maybe they need there eyes checked – Zeus-Amun is OBVIOUSLY a girl. :giggle:

Comment by livius drusus
2010-04-24 11:38:53

Hey, he’s just stylishly accessorized. :giggle:

 
 
Comment by Dave Michaels
2011-05-27 20:28:19

The coins in the close-up photos are obvious modern fakes, the kind used to fool tourists in the middle east. The bronze coins stacked in the crate appear genuine, but are very different from the close-ups.

Dave Michaels
Director of Ancient Coins
Heritage Auctions

 
Comment by Mike M
2012-05-31 19:29:27

Ya know, I am by no means a coin expert….hell, I am not even a hobbyist…but my initial thought upon looking at that photo was:

“That looks really modernish, and the depiction of the face looks especially very well-preserved. It also have the mint marking like modern times.”

Did the ancients use those little mint markings, like how current US coins use either a “P” for Philadelphia, or a “D” for Denver?

Despite those thoughts, it never even entered my mind that those close-up coins would be a fake. :giggle:

 
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