Pamphylian Coin Hoards as Indicators of Economic Interrelations during the Hellenistic Period

→ Fabian Richter

Archaeological evidence can lead to many important insights on the relationship between different regions, especially when economic questions are in the focus of research. In this context, usually the first thing that comes in mind are finds of amphoras.Thanks to modern scientific methods, analyses of their contents can lead to fascinating results. Nonetheless, all the numismatic evidence that came down on us in the form of numerous coin hoards is of equal importance and significance when dealing with economic questions.

The coins that were circulating in the eastern Mediterranean during the Hellenistic period were almost exclusively minted on the basis of the Athenian standard. After the father of Alexander the Great, Philipp II, had started minting his gold coins on the using this standard, Alexander himself introduced it also for his silver coins. In the time after, most of the kings and poleis of the eastern Mediterranean followed his example and used the Athenian standard for the production of their coins. Trade and commerce was supported by this development, thus coins minted at a variety of places spread over large parts of the eastern Mediterranean.

An analysis of the coin hoards of the Pamphylian region, located on the southern shore of modern Turkey, will surely lead to many new insights on the interrelations of ancient Pamphylia with other regions. Of course, these interrelations do not necessarily had to be of economic nature, thus, in order to place the analyzed coin hoards in the historical context in which they were buried, all other available sources have to be examined in detail. But the main focus of the project will be put on the, sometimes neglected, numismatic evidence.




Figure left: Alexander III. (336-323 BC); Tetradrachm; AR; c. 327-323 BC; minted in Tarsos; 17,31 g; AV: Head of Heracles looking right, wearing lion’s skin; RV: AΛEΞANΔPOY, Zeus enthroned looking left, holding scepter in his left and eagle in his right hand, at left plow, below the throne a bunch of grapes.

Figure right: Side; Tetradrachm; AR; c. 203 BC; 17,02 g; AV: Head of Athena right, wearing Corinthian helmet; RV: Nike advancing left, holding wreath in right hand, left AΦ and pomegranate.


Supervisors: Dr. Peter Franz Mittag, Prof. Dr. Frank Rumscheid