Coins from the Time of Alexander the Great Found

Over 250 coins dating from the time of Alexander the Great were found in northern Syria, according to Youssef Kanjo, the Syrian archaeologist in charge of excavations at Aleppo. They were unearthed by a local man who was digging a foundation for a home!

The coins date from the Hellenic period, which ranges from 4th to the 1st centuries B.C. after Macedonian warrior-king Alexander the Great spread Greek culture into Middle East and beyond with his conquests.

Kanjo added that the box contained two groups of coins, 137 "tetra" drachmas (four drachmas) and 115 single drachma coins.

One side of the tetra drachma coins depicts Alexander the Great, while the other side shows the Greek god Zeus sitting on a throne with an eagle perched on his extended arm.

Some of the coins bear the inscription King Alexander in Greek, while others say Alexander or carry the name of King Philip, most likely referring to his father.

http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=124329234

From the Upcoming ueue, submitted by Geekazoid.


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Not exactly a rare find. You can buy an Alexander the Great coin on eBay if you want - although watch out for fakes.

Sometimes, these "discoveries" are staged, often in order to give a background to illegally looted treasures.

felixthecat, England has a similar procedure for antiquities found like this.
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Poor guy that found these. He "handed" the coins over to the authorities. Did he really have a choice? And how many of these coins will wind up in some private "museum" in a Swiss bank vault?
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"The coins date from the Hellenic period.."
Should read "Hellenistic period."

Both terms share their root in the word "Hellas," the ancient name for the Greek Isles. "Hellenic" is the adjectival form, meaning simply "Greek" or "Grecian." "Hellenic Period" refers to the entire thousand year span of ancient Greek History.

"Hellenistic Period" refers to the period following the great military campaigns of Alexander the Great. In this case, "Hellenistic" refers to the aggressive expansion of Greek culture in all the territories conquered by Alexander.
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I own a coin that is very similar to these. It has Alexander's face on one side, and a figure on a throne holding a bird on his outstretched arm. He has his other arm on what might be a spear, or he's about to do a pole-dance. I always figured it was Alexander, interesting to know that it's Zeus. I got it in a shop in London, and was told that it was probably from about a century after Alexander's death.
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