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    Description

    Extraordinary Ashdod Drachm

    PHILISTIA. Ashdod. Ca. 5th-4th centuries BC. AR drachm or quarter-shekel (14mm, 3.91 gm, 9h). NGC Choice XF 5/5 - 3/5, test cut. Archaic janiform head composed of bearded male (left) and horned lion-demon (right), within linear circle / Aramaic Ashdod above cojoined adduced stag and bull foreparts, all within linear square within square incuse. HGC 10, 467 (R3). Gitler and Tal II.1D. Extremely rare! Reverse test cut at 2:00, otherwise an exemplary specimen very similar to the one imaged in HGC (including a similarly placed test cut).

    Ashdod was a thriving Canaanite coastal community as early as the 13th century BC, later occupied by the Sea Peoples, or Philistines, who gave their name to the region of Philistia. The city is mentioned in the Bible several times: In Samuel chapters 5-6, after the Philisitines captured the Ark of the Covenant, they took it to Ashdod and placed it in the temple of their god, Dagon. The next morning, the statue of Dagon was found prostrate before the Ark, and the denizens of Ashdod were afflicted with boils. Understandably, they sent the Ark to other cities, which suffered similar misfortunes. Under the Persians, the city became known for production of the purple dye (known as Tyrian purple after Ashdod's more famous northern neighbor, Tyre). Like many cities in Philistia, it began striking coins in the mid-fifth century BC, small silver pieces with a distinctive imagery derived from Greek, Phoenician and Egyptian influences. All such pieces are exceedingly rare today, the above example one of the rarest varieties. 


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    Auction Dates
    January, 2018
    7th-8th Sunday-Monday
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