The First Art Newspaper on the Net Established in 1996 United States Wednesday, October 22, 2014


Extremely Rare 2,200-Year Old Gold Coin Uncovered by Excavations at Tell Kedesh
The coin is 2,200 years old and was minted in Alexandria, Egypt in 191 BCE by Ptolemy V and bears the name of the wife of Ptolemy II, Arsinoe. The Israel Antiquities Authority says the coin is the heaviest and has the highest contemporary value of any coin ever found in an excavation in Israel. The coin weighs almost one ounce (27.71 grams), while most ancient gold coins weighed 4.5 grams. The denomination is called a mnaieion, meaning a one-mina coin, and is equivalent to 100 silver drachms, or a mina of silver. EPA/SUE WEBB/ISRAELI ANTIQUITIES AUTHORITY.
JERUSALEM.- The coin, which apparently served ritual purposes, depicts a queen — apparently ArsinoŽ II — wife of her brother Ptolemy II

An extremely rare 2200-year old gold coin was uncovered recently in the excavations of the University of Michigan and University of Minnesota at Tell Kedesh in Israel near its Lebanese border. The coin was minted in Alexandria by Ptolemy V in 191 BCE and bears the name of the wife of Ptolemy II, ArsinoŽ Philadephus (II).

According to Dr. Donald T. Ariel, head of the Coin Department of the Israel Antiquities Authority, “This is an amazing numismatic find. The coin is beautiful and in excellent preservation. It is the heaviest gold coin with the highest contemporary value of any coin ever found in an excavation in Israel. The coin weighs almost one ounce (27.71 grams), while most ancient gold coins weighed 4.5 grams. In Ariel’s words, “This extraordinary coin was apparently not in popular or commercial use, but had a symbolic function. The coin may have had a ceremonial function related to a festival in honor of Queen ArsinoŽ, who was deified in her lifetime. The denomination is called a mnaieion, meaning a one-mina coin, and is equivalent to 100 silver drachms, or a mina of silver.

The obverse (‘head’) of the coin depicts ArsinoŽ II Philadelphus. The reverse (‘tail’) depicts two overlapping cornucopias (horns-of-plenty) decorated with fillets. The meaning of the word Philadelphus is brotherly love. ArsinoŽ II, daughter of Ptolemy I Soter, was married at age 15 to one of Alexander the Great’s generals, Lysimachus, king of Thrace. After Lysimachus’ death she married her brother, Ptolemy II, who established a cult in her honor. This mnaieion from Tel Kedesh attests to the staying power of the cult, since the coin was minted a full 80 years after the queen’s death.

According to Ariel, “It is rare to find Ptolemaic coins in Israel dating after the country came under Seleucid rule in 200 BCE. The only other gold Ptolemaic coin from an excavation in Israel (from `Akko) dates from the period of Ptolemaic hegemony, in the third century BCE, and weighs less than two grams.”

The excavations at Tell Kedesh, conducted since 1997, has uncovered a large Persian/Hellenistic administrative building, complete with reception halls, dining facilities, store rooms and an archive. While the documents in the archive were not preserved, the excavations yielded 2043 bullae, from which the flourishing of the Hellenistic phase of the building can be dated to the first half of the second century BCE.

Ariel notes that although the inscription on the coin identifies the queen as ArsinoŽ Philadelphus, “it is plausible that the second-century BCE mnaieia actually depict cryptic portraits of the reigning queens. Consequently, the queen represented on the Tell Kedesh mnaieion may actually be Cleopatra I, daughter of Antiochus III, whose marriage to Ptolemy V in 193 sealed the formal end of the Fifth Syrian War.”

Some three years ago an Alexandrine hoard of Ptolemaic gold coins appeared on the world antiquities market. That hoard, however, contained no coins of Ptolemy V, so the extreme rarity of the mnaieion from Tell Kedesh remains unimpaired.

Tell Kedesh | Israel Antiquities Authority | Rare 2 | 200-Year Old Gold Coin | Dr. Donald T. Ariel |




Today's News

August 13, 2010

Extremely Rare 2,200-Year Old Gold Coin Uncovered by Excavations at Tell Kedesh

HBO Archives to Celebrate 75th Anniversary of the March of Time® Documentary Series

Romantics Display Opens at Tate Britain Following Major Re-Hang of the Clore Galleries

Archaeologists from Cardiff University Discover Ancient Roman Monumental Buildings

Works by Rackstraw Downes on View this Winter at the Portland Museum of Art

London Show Explores Skin as Human Body's Frontier

Tacheles: Berlin's Alternative Scene Fights for Survival

'Lucy' Species Used Stone Tools, Fossil Study by California Academy Says

Mumbai's Taj Hotel Reopens Sunday After 2008 Attacks

MoMA Launches Free iPhone App, Now Available on App Store

Christina Aguilera Lends Her Voice to Support the Arts

Money Fair in Boston Showcases $100,000 Bills, Rare Coins

NYC Seeks to Reclaim Notable Central Park Drawings

Dr. Shirley Thomson, Former Director of the National Gallery of Canada, Died

Nashville Last Stop for Masterpieces Before Works Return to Paris

Museum of Modern Art Celebrates Pioneering Filmmaker Ida Lupino

Award-Winning 'Cathy' Comic Strip Ending After 34 Years

BLM Wraps Up Meetings on Colorado River Art Proposal

New York City on Track for Record Number of Tourists in 2010

Bonhams to Sell Replica Spitfire for the Royal British Legion

Aspen Art Museum's Summer Benefit Gala artCRUSH Raises $1.5 Million

Renowned International Artists to Display New Works at Beyond/In Western New York

Muslim Gravestones Removed from Jerusalem Cemetery

South Korean Fashion Designer Andre Kim Dies at Age 74

National Museum of American History Accepts Red Hat Society Donation

Most Popular Last Seven Days



1.- Image of a Christ without a beard, short hair and wearing a toga unearthed in Spain

2.- Giant mosaic unearthed in mysterious tomb in Amphipolis in northern Macedonia

3.- Bonhams sale of 18th century French decorative arts to benefit Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco

4.- Paris flustered by erection of 'sex-toy' sculpture; Paul McCarthy slapped by a passer-by

5.- High art or vile pornography? Marquis de Sade explored in Orsay museum exhibition

6.- 'Cubism: The Leonard A. Lauder Collection' opens at the Metropolitan Museum of Art

7.- Greek culture minister says Elgin Marbles return a matter of 'global heritage'

8.- Vandals deflate Paris 'sex-toy' sculpture by American artist Paul McCarthy after outrage

9.- Exhibition at National Gallery in London explores Rembrandt's final years of painting

10.- 'Hans Memling: A Flemish Renaissance' opens at the Scuderie del Quirinale in Rome



Museums, Exhibits, Artists, Milestones, Digital Art, Architecture, Photography,
Photographers, Special Photos, Special Reports, Featured Stories, Auctions, Art Fairs,
Anecdotes, Art Quiz, Education, Mythology, 3D Images, Last Week, .

 

Founder:
Ignacio Villarreal
Editor & Publisher: Jose Villarreal - Consultant: Ignacio Villarreal Jr.
Art Director: Juan José Sepúlveda Ramírez - Marketing: Carla Gutiérrez
Special Contributor: Liz Gangemi - Special Advisor: Carlos Amador
Contributing Editor: Carolina Farias

Royalville Communications, Inc
produces:

ignaciovillarreal.org theavemaria.org juncodelavega.org facundocabral-elfinal.org
Founder's Site. The most varied versions
of this beautiful prayer.
Hommage
to a Mexican poet.
Hommage
       

The First Art Newspaper on the Net. The Best Versions Of Ave Maria Song Junco de la Vega Site Ignacio Villarreal Site