Dating persian coins
35-36; for additional references, see Babelon, 1901, pp. Eventually, because of the dareiko‚s' dominant position as the single regularly issued gold coin of its time, the term became a synonym among the Greeks for any gold coin, for example, the stater issued by Philip (dareikoì Philíppeioi; Melville-Jones, pp. The discovery in 1312 Š./1933 of a hoard of coins in the famous Apadâna (q.v.) deposit of Darius at Persepolis, which is unfortunately still inadequately published, has been the focus for a long-standing debate over the date when the daric was first minted (Herzfeld, pp. As a continuously minted piece of precious metal with a stable value, it was certainly able to compete with the Attic tetradrachm or the electrum stater from Cyzicus, especially during the 5th century. Lipinski, ed., State and Temple Economy in the Ancient Near East II, Orientalia Lovaniensia Analecta 6, Louvain, 1979, pp.
At any rate, all the finds now known conform without exception to the picture of Achaemenid monetary policy developed by Daniel Schlumberger on the basis of the hoard at Ùaman-e Ho±ûrî near Kabul: The siglos can be identified as a local currency for Asia Minor, whereas it is clear from the importance of the daric in the gold market of antiquity that it was conceived from the beginning as a superregional trading currency. Robinson, eds., Transactions of the International Numismatic Congress 1936, London, 1938, pp. Idem, "Les monnayages satrapaux, provinciaux et re‚gionaux dans l'empire perse face au nume‚raire officiel des Ache‚me‚nides," in E.
In contrast to the lighter Lydian gold stater of slightly more than 8 gr (8.06-8.19 gr), the new daric weighed ca. The weight of the silver siglos continued to be based on that of the silver Croesus stater (10.75-92 gr) and was minted as a half-siglos of ca. The hypothesis that the weight of the Achaemenid coinage was raised in two successive stages (Robinson, pp. The Achaemenids thus at first adopted two different weight standards for gold and silver, with a fixed ratio of value between the denominations; in particular, they attempted to gear the two types of coinage to the needs of the respective groups of recipients and users.
This type is also divided into two subtypes according to stylistic features. At the end of the 5th century, when the Persian satraps in Asia Minor began to strike their own coins, it was deemed necessary to express, through images or inscriptions, that the right of coinage was still a royal prerogative. This type was continued more or less unchanged by Darius' successors; it also served as a model for comparable coin issues by succeeding Persian dynasties, helping to underscore the dynastic principle. 80 ff.) has suggested on the basis of evidence from hoards, types I, II, and III (first version) all seem to have been struck by Darius I. Judging by the quantities of preserved examples of the two latter types, they accounted for the overwhelming bulk of Achaemenid mint production.Numismatists have also found the danake an elusive coin to identify, speculating that the Greeks used the term loosely for a demonetized coin of foreign origin. In the Hellenistic period and later it designated the silver Attic obol, which originally represented the sixth part of a drachma; in New Persian dâng means "one sixth". C., a gold danake had been placed on the lips of a woman, presumed from her religious paraphernalia to be an initiate into the Orphic or Dionysiac mysteries. In archaeological investigations of Greece since the mid-1990s, danakes have tended to be found in cemeteries.The danake is one of the coins that served as the so-called Charon's obol, which was placed on or in a dead person's mouth to pay the ferryman who conveyed souls across the river that divided the world of the living from the world of the dead. At a necropolis at Hephaisteia on Lemnos, exploration of which began in 1995, the many finds in unlooted graves included a gold danake. 4-9) that all the so-called "Croeseids" are to be attributed to the Achaemenids does not, however, seem persuasive (cf. The major mint was certainly Sardis, the seat of the Achaemenid administration for the whole of Asia Minor; it had already been the mint of the former Lydian kings and was kept in operation by the Achaemenids (Kraay, pp. On the basis of evidence from hoards, as well as typological and metrological research, C. 1), encompassing identical obverse dies and reverse punches on both gold and silver coins, has considerably clarified Lydian minting practice, which must also have been adopted for the later production of darics and sigloi, though few overlapping series of dies and punches have so far been discovered on Achaemenid coins. The reverse was without images, and only an irregular oblong incuse can be recognized. The central problem of identifying different mint cities can be solved only through comprehensive new finds and detailed die studies. As the leading administrative center, Sardis must also have been the collection point for the annual tribute payments from the provinces of Asia Minor, thus ensuring a sufficient supply of precious metals for mint production there. 33) has concluded that there were also mint cities in both northwestern and southwestern Asia Minor (cf. Paul Naster's exemplary die study of the Croeseids (1965, pl.