Israel Numismatic Research

Published by the Israel Numismatic Society

Volume 8 2013

5 Yigal Ronen: An Unusual Aramaic Graffito on an Athenian Tetradrachm

9 Rebecca Sacks: Some Notes on the Depictions of the Achemenid Great
King on the Coins of Fourth-Century Judah, Samaria and Philistia

17 Catharine C. Lorber: A Mint Imitating Ptolemaic Tetradrachms of ‘Akko-

25 Tom Buijtendorp: Tyrian Sheqels as Savings: A New Perspective on the
Ramat Raḥel Hoard

31 Cecilia Meir: Tyrian Sheqels from the ‘Isfiya Hoard, Part Four: Half

39 Ido Noy: Head Decoration Representations on Hasmonean and Herodian

55 Isadore Goldstein and Jean-Philippe Fontanille: The Small Denominations
of Mattathias Antigonus: Die Classification and Interpretations

73 David B. Hendin, Nathan W. Bower and Sean G. Parham: A Critical
Examination of Two Undated Prutot of the First Jewish Revolt

89 Gil Gambash, Haim Gitler and Hannah M. Cotton: Iudaea Recepta

105 Aaron J. Kogon: New Details and Notes on Some Minimi of Caesarea

109 Uzi Leibner and Gabriela Bijovsky: Two Hoards from Khirbat Wadi
Ḥamam and the Scope of the Bar Kokhba Revolt

135 Yoav Farhi: Note on Two Types of Lead Currency from Late Roman/Early
Byzantine Palestine (Fifth Century CE)

143 Robert Kool, Borys Paszkiewicz and Edna J. Stern: An Unrecorded
Bohemian Saint Christopher Penny from Montmusard, Acre

159 Adolfo Eidelstein and Danny Syon: An Unknown Token of the Commune
of Genoa in Thirteenth-Century ‘Akko

165 David J. Wasserstein: Islamic Coins and their Catalogues IV: Ḥandusis

175 Warren C. Schultz: Mamlūk Minting Techniques: The Manufacture of
Dirham Flans, 1250–1412



An Unusual Aramaic Graffito on an Athenian Tetradrachm

Yigal Ronen
An Athenian tetradrachm with an unusual graffito was discovered recently; it appears to be of
local provenance. The Aramaic graffito should be read as zbwb b`al ( זבוב בעל ). It is suggested that
this coin was paid as a tax or a gift for the temple of Ba‘al Zebub in the Philistian city of Ekron.

Some Notes on the Depictions of the Achemenid Great King on the Coins of Fourth-Century Judah, Samaria and Philistia

Rebecca Sacks
The coins from fourth-century Judah, Samaria, and Philistia are articulate pieces of mass
media. Depictions of the Achemenid Great King on these coins reflect the complex dynamics
between overlord and vassal states. The presence of Achemenid imagery on coins from the
Levant has been explained either as enforced propaganda on the part of the Achemenids or
as a local attempt to curry favor with the Achemenid overlords. To these explanations, the
possibility must be added that the images of the Great King were used to fortify the (slightly
exaggerated) value/purity asserted by the coins.

A Mint Imitating Ptolemaic Tetradrachms of ‘Akko-Ptolemais

Catharine C. Lorber
A series of imitative tetradrachms based on dated Ptolemaic issues of ‘Akko-Ptolemais
commenced with an undated variety marked only with Δ, followed by several other varieties
unknown to Svoronos. The dies represented in a recent hoard reveal that this coinage was
much larger than hitherto suspected. It was probably struck to pay soldiers in the employ of a
ruler somewhere east of the Ptolemaic province of Syria and Phoenicia.

Tyrian Sheqels as Savings: A New Perspective on the Ramat Raḥel Hoard

Tom Buijtendorp
The Ramat Raḥel hoard, excavated in 2008, may offer an interesting example of Tyrian
sheqels being used for hoarding during a sequence of years, in what may be called a defined
contribution accumulation hoard. Unlike what has been suggested by some for the large ‘Isfiya
and Qumran sheqel hoards, which have been related (in different ways) to the Jerusalem
Temple tax payments, the Ramat Raḥel hoard appears to reflect an individual’s private savings.
The hoard also illustrates how weight patterns can contribute to the discussion about coin use.

Tyrian Sheqels from the ʻIsfiya Hoard, Part Four: Half Sheqels

Cecilia Meir
The paper presents 59 Tyrian half sheqels from the Kadman Numismatic Pavilion holdings of
the ʽIsfiya hoard.

Head Decoration Representations on Hasmonean and Herodian Coins

Ido Noy
Research into representations of head decorations on ancient Jewish coins reveals aspects of
their evolution, reflecting the complex relationship between their Jewish and the Hellenistic
cultural settings.
The head decorations’ origin and meaning in Hellenistic culture as well as the circumstances
of their appearance in Jewish iconography shed light on the visual means used by the Jewish
rulers in proclaiming their sovereignty.

The Small Denominations of Mattathias Antigonus: Die Classification and Interpretations

Isadore Goldstein, Jean-Philippe Fontanille
This paper describes the five small denominations struck by Mattathias Antigonus (40–37
BCE). It presents their die classification and interprets the meanings and rationale behind the
legends. It also suggests a chronology based on an analysis of the dies and minting methods.

A Critical Examination of Two Undated Prutot of the First Jewish Revolt

David B. Hendin, Nathan W. Bower, Sean G. Parham
Non-destructive, chemical and physical tests of undated first Jewish revolt (66–70 CE) prutot
are described and applied to two of the three known examples of this rare coin, supplementing
a numismatic evaluation. One of these coins, previously published by Hendin (2001),
also exhibits the image of a “year two” revolt coin. The third is an unpublished, irregular
example clearly overstruck on a Hasmonean prutah. The nature of these overstrikes add to the
questions about the provenance of these coins, providing insights into what microscopic and
x-ray methods of analysis can offer numismatists and archaeologists who address questions
of authenticity.


Gil Gambash Haim Gitler Hannah M. Cotton
This article, in memory of Alla Kushnir-Stein, discusses a newly discovered aureus, bearing
a previously unattested legend, Iudaea recepta, and an equally unattested combination
of iconographic elements on its reverse, issued immediately after the fall of Jerusalem in
September, 70 CE. The idea of recepta, conveyed in both legend and iconography, was the resubjugation
of an old province, indeed precisely what one would have expected after a revolt
was put down. This message must have been deliberately suppressed soon after the coin was
issued, in favor of the capta type associated with the acquisition of new territory.

New Details and Notes on Some Minimi of Caesarea

Aaron J. Kogon
Two previously unnoted features on the minimi of Caesarea that imitate the prutot of the first
Jewish revolt are described. Some possible explanations for these features are offered, as well
as an attempt to date the minimi in general.

Two Hoards from Khirbat Wadi Ḥamam and the Scope of the Bar Kokhba Revolt

Uzi Leibner Gabriela Bijovsky
Two hoards from the reign of Hadrian were discovered in a massive destruction layer at Khirbat
Wadi Ḥamam in the Eastern Lower Galilee. The first hoard contains 60 silver and bronze coins
and the second, 11 bronze coins. Based on their general character and archaeological contexts
both can be defined as emergency hoards. A detailed presentation of the Ḥamam hoards and
their context is followed by a discussion of their historical implication and the question of the
involvement of Galilee in the Bar Kokhba revolt.

Note on Two Types of Lead Currency from Late Roman/Early Byzantine Palestine (Fifth Century CE)

Yoav Farhi
The author discusses two types of local lead currency, recently excavated in Khirbet Qeiyafa,
and dated to the fifth century CE. One type, which is cast and derives from cut up pieces
of mirror frames, was previously published but was not identified as a currency of the fifth
century CE. The second type discussed here is a hitherto unknown struck issue.

An Unrecorded Bohemian Saint Christopher Penny from Montmusard, Acre

Robert Kool, Borys Paszkiewicz, Edna J. Stern
A hitherto unpublished Czech penny was unearthed during salvage excavations in ʽAkko’s
Crusader-period Montmusard quarter. A detailed analysis of the coin’s inscriptions,
iconography and weight suggests that it was minted by the Bohemian king Přemysl-
Otokar II in 1248 or later. The coin exhibits the earliest use of the title of rex Boemorum
and a previously unobserved contemporaneous veneration of Saint Christopher in
Bohemia. It is an important historical document both of Otokar II’s intentions to create a
unified Bohemian state and of the multiple contacts between Bohemia and the Latin East
in the thirteenth century.

An Unknown Token of the Commune of Genoa in Thirteenth-Century ‘Akko

Adolfo Eidelstein, Danny Syon
A possibly unique lead token, with a type and legend copied from contemporaneous Genoese
denari, is suggested to have been issued by the Genoese merchant commune of ‘Akko in the
thirteenth century.

Islamic Coins and their Catalogues IV: The Ḥandūsīs

David J. Wasserstein
Francés Vañó attempts to identify, collect, describe and classify what he names ḥandūsīs,
fractional coinage from al-Andalus, Islamic Spain. He applies the label to many specimens that
he sees as cut up, clipped or specially manufactured. The identity of the corpus is discussed,
together with the applicability of the term ḥandūsī; the presentation of the material in the
catalogue is described. The conclusion is, first, that we need a full study of the term ḥandūsī
and its meaning in the sources, and secondly that this catalogue may not be dealing with a
properly constituted category of coin, fractional or not.

Mamlūk Minting Techniques: The Manufacture of Dirham Flans, 1250–1412

Warren C. Schultz
There are no surviving mint manuals from the Mamlūk Sultanate, as there are for the preceding
Ayyubid period; thus, knowledge about mint techniques must be derived mainly from the
coins themselves. Drawing primarily upon Mamlūk dirhams preserved in the Israel Museum
collection, the methods of flan production utilized are examined. This examination reveals that
at least three separate methods of flan preparation were in use during the first 160 years of the
sultanate, often at the same time.