Egypt, Pharaonic Kingdom, Unknown Pharoah, 5th - 4th Century BC, Silver Tetradrachm

Ancient Coins - Egypt, Pharaonic Kingdom, Unknown Pharoah, 5th - 4th Century BC, Silver Tetradrachm
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Egypt, Pharaonic Kingdom, Unknown Pharoah, Late 5th - mid 4th Century BC
Silver Tetradrachm, Memphis (?) Mint, 27mm, 17.09 grams
Obverse: Helmeted head of Athena right with frontal eye.
Reverse: Owl standing right with head facing, olive sprig and crescent on left, all within incuse square.
Van Alfen Group III.A.1 fig. 1 // Buttrey Type B // Curtis Plate X, #1
 
Only a few types of coins were ever struck by the Egyptians, none of them truly their own style but in imitation of other types. The precise dating of these coins is still in flux awaiting further data, though it can be determined in general when they were first and last used. The 29th Dynasty Pharaoh Hakor (Hellenized to Acoris by some) formed an alliance with Athens and Cyprus in about 389-8 BC. Within a few years Hakor was engaged with the Persians and had to employ mercenary forces from Greece. In order to pay these troops in a currency which would be acceptable, and since Egypt had none of its own, coin dies were obtained from Athens and tetradrachms were soon being struck. Over time the Egyptians would engrave their own dies in a distinct style. As Egypt did not have any domestic sources for silver, it is often assumed that they obtained bullion from Athens as well. The mint is assumed to have been at Memphis as dies and coins have been found there.
 
During this tumultuous period mercenaries were continually employed, only ending in 341 with the defeat of Nectanedo II by the Persians. It is assumed that these tetradrachms were continually issued during this roughly 50 year period.
Price SKU: 7831
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