Saturday, April 24, 2010

Egypt finds hoard of 2,000-year-old bronze coins

Thanks to everyone who sent links for this story.

Boston Globe

Archaeologists unearthed 383 bronze coins dating back to King Ptolemy III who ruled Egypt in the 3rd century B.C. and was an ancestor of the famed Cleopatra, the Egyptian antiquities authority announced Thursday.

The statement said one side of the coins were inscribed with hybrid Greek-Egyptian god Amun-Zeus, while the other side showed an eagle and the words Ptolemy and king in Greek.

Founded by one of Alexander the Great's generals, the Ptolemaic Dynasty ruled Egypt for some 300 years, fusing Greek and ancient Egyptian cultures.

The coins were found north of Qarun lake in Fayoum Oasis 50 miles (80 kilometers) southwest of Cairo.

Other artifacts were unearthed in the area included three necklaces made of ostrich egg shell dated back to the 4th millennium B.C. and a pot of kohl eyeliner from the Ottoman Empire.

The 383 items dating back more than 2,250 years were found near Lake Qarun in Fayum oasis, around 120 kilometers (75 miles) from Cairo, the ministry said in a statement, adding that they were in excellent condition.

The coins weighed 32 grams (1.12 ounces) each, with one face depicting the god Amun and the other the words "king" and "Ptolemy III" in Greek along with his effigy, the statement said.

Other objects from different periods were also found during the dig, in addition to parts of a whale skeleton around 42 million years old, it added.

The ministry said it was the first time Egyptian archaeologists had found necklaces made from ostrich eggshell at Fayum.

Fox News

With photographs.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I visited the excavations in the Faiyum today and can confirm the excavations and investigations into the Qarunian and Faiyumian at W1, W2, W3 and W4 is really amazing. Not only the early sites and the Ptolemaic coin hoard but the whales from the Tethys Sea (reported earlier) confirm what I always believed that the north west area is full of important sites and must not be built upon and must be kept as an archaeological park.