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Macedonian Royal Coinage Attributed to Kaunos in the Light of New Evidence
Dinçer Savaş LENGER
Mount Nif (Olympos) is located at the junction where the administrative borders of the Kemalpaşa, Torbalı and Buca districts of İzmir province meet to the east of the Gulf of İzmir. Archaeological excavations have been conducted at the Karamattepe, Ballıcaoluk, Dağkızılca and Başpınar areas within the scope of Mount Nif Surveys and Excavations Project since 2006.

Excavations between 2006 and 2010 under the direction of Elif Tül Tülünay at Karamattepe necropolis, which dates to the Late Classical - Early Hellenistic period, have brought to light 81 coins, three of which are silver and the rest being bronze. Of these 81 coins, 35 are autonomous coins of 16 cities in four regions, while 43 are Macedonian royal coins minted jointly by Alexander III and Philippos III (Arrhidaios). The latter constitute 53% of the group. Except for two coins of Alexander III, all the other royal coins are of bronze and were struck during the reign of Philippos III.

Among the Macedonian coins the largest group of 20 coins have a shield decorated with a Gorgo head on the obverse and a helmet with a legend of BA and a kerykeion on the reverse. These coins were attributed to Miletus by Liampi and to Salamis by Price, but most likely should belong to Sardis. The second largest group (31%) comprises 13 coins attributed to “Karia?” and “Asia Minor” by Liampi; to Miletus by Thompson; Miletus, “Miletus or Mylasa” and Asia Minor by Price; and finally to Kaunos by Ashton. The reason for Ashton’s suggestion that Kaunos was their mint is the high number of these coins at the Fethiye Museum.

After the surveys of 1989-1993 in the Gulf of Gökova when the six coins attributed to Kaunos were found, such coins were found for the first time in the excavations at Mount Nif in Ionia, about 270 km. north of Kaunos. Of the Macedonian coins uncovered at the Karamattepe necropolis, 24 (57%) were minted at Sardis. Those attributed to Kaunos are 13 in number (31%) and constitute the second largest group. Lesser are two coins (5%) of Macedon, two coins (5%) of Asia Minor mintage and one coin (2%) of the Kyme mint. Finds show that, although they are found in remarkable numbers at Fethiye Museum, it is highly likely that the coins attributed to Miletus, “Miletus or Mylasa” and “Asia Minor” by Price and to Kaunos by Ashton, or at least some of them, may have been struck at Miletus or Mylasa.

Yrd. Doç. Dr. Dinçer Savaş Lenger,
Akdeniz Üniversitesi, Edebiyat Fakültesi,
Tarih Bölümü, Eskiçağ Tarihi Anabilim Dalı,
Kampus - Antalya
E-posta: dslenger@akdeniz.edu.tr

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