Israel Numismatic Research
Published by the Israel Numismatic SocietyVolume 10 2015
5 PAOLO VISONÀ: A Missing Link in the Last Carthaginian Gold Series
9 ERIC A. CARLEN and CATHARINE C. LORBER: A Die Shared by the Ptolemaic Mints at Sidon and ‘Akko-Ptolemais
37 HAIM GITLER and GÉRALD FINKIELSZTEJN: An Official Hellenistic Inscribed Disk from Ascalon (with an appendix by Naama Yahalom-Mack, Haim Gitler, Ofir Tirosh and Yigal Erel: Bulk Chemical Composition of the Disk Naming Ascalon; and an appendix by Dana Ashkenazi and Haim Gitler: Metallurgical SEM-EDS Characterization of the Disk Naming Ascalon)
55 GÉRALD FINKIELSZTEJN: The Weight Standards of the Hellenistic Levant, Part Two: The Evidence of the Phoenician Scale Weights
105 OLIVER D. HOOVER: A Clashed Seleucid Obverse Die of Philip I Philadelphus
111 AARON J. KOGON: Greek Letter Forms on Judean Coins
129 JEAN-PHILIPPE FONTANILLE and AARON J. KOGON: Two New Symbols on a Coin of Herod Antipas
137 YOAV FARHI: Die Sharing and Other Numismatic Connections in Southern Roman Palestine (Second–Third Centuries CE)
155 ACHIM LICHTENBERGER: Orientation Matters: The Obverse Portrait of Elagabalus on Some Civic Coins of Abila and Other Syrian Coins
169 DAVID WOODS: Muʽawiya, Constans II and Coins without Crosses
183 NIKOLAUS SCHINDEL: The Umayyad Fulūs of Gaza
191 NITZAN AMITAI-PREISS and OREN TAL: A Lead Bulla from Apollonia-Arsūf with the Place Name Arsūf (with an appendix by Dana Ashkenazi and Oren Tal: Archaeometallurgical Characteristics of the Bulla)
207 STEFAN HEIDEMANN and ROBERT KOOL: A Bedouin Amīr in Fāṭimid Ṭabariyya: The Earliest Numayrid Coin Excavated in Tiberias
215 ROBERT KOOL and OREN TAL: ‘Underground’ Money in an Outremer Estate: Token Molds and Lead Tokens from
229 REVIEW: Ya‘akov Meshorer, with Gabriela Bijovsky and Wolfgang Fischer-Bossert. Coins of the Holy Land. The Abraham and Marian Sofaer Collection at the American Numismatic Society and the Israel Museum. Edited by David Hendin and Andrew Meadows (Ancient Coins in North American Collections 8). The American Numismatic Society, New York 2013 (Danny Syon)
A Missing Link in the Last Carthaginian Gold SeriesPaolo Visonà
Carthage minted its final series of gold coins during the Third Punic War. G.K. Jenkins and
J. Alexandropoulos described them as a unit and a fraction, identified as a 2/5 sheqel and
a 1/5 sheqel because the larger coin weighs about 3 g. However, the existence of a sheqel
bearing the same types as those of the 2/5 sheqels suggests that this coinage had at least three
denominations. The earliest 2/5 sheqels have either no control marks or single Punic letters,
representing an alphabetical sequence, of which a coin with the letter gimel, in the Kadman
Numismatic Pavilion, provides a missing link.
A Die Shared by the Ptolemaic Mints at Sidon and ‘Akko-PtolemaisEric A. Carlen and Catharine C. Lorber
This article presents the study of a group of Ptolemaic tetradrachms struck from a single obverse
die that was first used at Sidon in regnal year 23 of Ptolemy III, and after two varieties were
produced there, was transferred to ‘Akko-Ptolemais where it was used for at least another seven
varieties continuing into the reign of Ptolemy IV. The obverse die was recut several times over
its unusually long career, and at Ptolemais was paired with reverse dies that were also recut,
and which display an exceptional alternating pattern of controls. The chronology, circumstances
and sizes of these issues are examined.
An Official Hellenistic Inscribed Disk from AscalonHaim Gitler and Gérald Finkielsztejn
A copper-alloy disk recently acquired for the Israel Museum bears inscribed Greek legends
on both sides. These mention the people of Ascalon, the year (150/49 BCE) and the name of
an astynomos, a function that appears for the first time on an instrumentum of the Hellenistic
Levant. Astynomoi appear on weights and measures in places in the Black Sea region and
elsewhere, implying that astynomoi were able to fulfill the same functions as agoranomoi did
in the southern Levant. The paper also includes two metallurgical discussions that shed further
light on the source and authenticity of this unique object.
The Weight Standards of the Hellenistic Levant, Part Two: The Evidence of the Phoenician Scale WeightsGérald Finkielsztejn
Lead weights from Hellenistic Phoenicia are presented on several tables, geographically from
north to south. The units and standards on which they were based are deduced from inscriptions.
General remarks on the clear or possible standards are presented, as well as relations between
them and brief historical conclusions or suggestions. The array of standards is evidence for a
significant degree of autonomy of the cities of Phoenicia. The origins of some of these standards
— drachms, sheqels and minas — are briefly discussed.
A Clashed Seleucid Obverse Die of Philip I PhiladelphusOliver D. Hoover
This article publishes two Seleucid tetradrachms of Philip I Philadelphus struck with the same
unusual obverse die. It is argued that peculiar raised and incuse features on the obverses are
the result of a die-clashing error during minting. Two additional clashed Seleucid dies suggest
that this sort of error often occurred in times of crisis when the mints were forced to quickly
produce coins to meet sudden high demand.
Greek Letter Forms on Judean CoinsAaron J. Kogon
The Greek letter forms on coins of the Hasmoneans, early Herodians and Roman governors
are discussed. These letter forms are compared with those on contemporary Jerusalemite stone
inscriptions and coins of the eastern Mediterranean. The chronological progression of letter
forms in the Jerusalem mint and the mixing of letter forms within a die are also explored and
a catalogue of letter forms is included.
Two New Symbols on a Coin of Herod AntipasJean-Philippe Fontanille and Aaron J. Kogon
Two previously unnoticed symbols on Herod Antipas’ largest denomination of 33/4 CE (TJC:227,
No. 87) are described and discussed. The features, which appear to be a star and a cornucopia,
are present on all dies of the type. The reason for these symbols is unknown.
Die Sharing and Other Numismatic Connections in Southern Roman Palestine (Second–Third Centuries CE)Yoav Farhi
This paper presents die sharing and other numismatic connections in southern Roman Palestine,
during the second–third centuries CE, mainly between Gaza and Raphia. These relations include
the possible recutting of reverse dies of Gaza for use in Raphia, the sharing of obverse dies
between the two cities, and stylistic similarities that suggest that the same die cutter(s) were
working for both cities, as well as for Ascalon, during certain periods. This type of research on
ties among the mints in southern Roman Palestine will hopefully lead to more die links being
identified in other parts of this region as well.
Orientation Matters: The Obverse Portrait of Elagabalus on Some Civic Coins of Abila and Other Syrian CoinsAchim Lichtenberger
A civic bronze of Abila with its obverse depicting the bust of Elagabalus facing left is the starting
point of a discussion of the orientation of the bust. On Roman provincial coins the emperor’s
obverse bust is usually to the right. Before discussing the case from Abila this paper addresses
the phenomenon in other nearby civic coinages and suggests explanations for the cases in which
the convention is not followed. The reason for the left-facing portrait on the Abila coin appears
to be the identification of Elagabalus with the sun god.
Muʽawiya, Constans II and Coins without CrossesDavid Woods
A newly published type of hexagram of Constans II with reverse depicting three standing figures
rather than a cross-on-globe-on-steps, when taken together with the solidus of the same type,
suggests that the author of the Maronite Chronicle may have been mistakenly referring to these
coins when he claimed that the caliph Muʽāwiyah struck gold and silver coins without crosses
upon his accession at Jerusalem in 661.
The Umayyad Fulūs of GazaNikolaus Schindel
This paper discusses the copper coins (fulūs) struck in Umayyad times in the mint of Gaza in
jund Filastīn. Altogether eight such coins both from public and private collections are catalogued,
which display two different but generally well-known types. Five different pairs of dies were
used to strike these coins. An attempt is made to discuss the Gaza fulūs in the broader context
of Umayyad coinage in jund Filastīn, and to highlight what is still lacking in the monetary
history of this region in early Islamic times.
A Lead Bulla from Apollonia-Arsūf with the Place Name ArsūfNitzan Amitai-Preiss and Oren Tal
This article discusses a rare lead bulla, dated to the Umayyad period, retrieved during excavations
at Apollonia-Arsūf. It bears legible legends on its obverse (khātim kūrat Qaysārīyah) and reverse
(madīnah Arsūf) that shed light on the administrative structure of jund Filasṭīn at the time, when
kūrat Qaysārīyah still maintained its historical role as major administrative center most probably
before the foundation of the district capital al-Ramlah in c. 715 CE. The article is followed by
an appendix that discusses the archaeo-metallurgical characteristics of the bulla, that is to say,
its microstructure, manufacturing technology and chemical composition.
A Bedouin Amīr in Fāṭimid Ṭabariyya: The Earliest Numayrid Coin Excavated in TiberiasStefan Heidemann and Robert Kool
The fifth century AH/eleventh century CE in Shām and the Jazīra was a period of a receding
monetary economy, and drastically shrinking number of produced coins. Contemporary legal
texts supported by archaeologically provenanced coin finds suggested that the reduced highly
alloyed black dirhams were only circulating in a narrow region of origin. It came therefore as
a surprise to find the earliest Numayrid dirham far from its supposed mint in Ḥarrān (modern
Altınbaşak, Şanlıurfa Province, Turkey) in an excavation in Tiberias. The coin also establishes
a terminus post quem for a disputed dating of the particular site.
‘Underground’ Money in an Outremer Estate: Token Molds and Lead Tokens from Crusader ArsurRobert Kool and Oren Tal
This paper discusses token molds and lead tokens retrieved during controlled archaeological
excavations at the site of Arsur (Apollonia-Arsūf) during excavations over the past two decades.
It promulgates the idea that locally struck unofficial lead money formed an integral part of the
‘cash’ used by Frankish settlers in the lordship of Arsur, like in many of the cities, towns and
rural estates in the Latin East during the twelfth and thirteenth centuries.