Saturday, May 17, 2008

Rare coins of Emperor Valens found in Egypt

Al Ahram Weekly (Nevine El Aref)

Archaeologists from the Supreme Council of Antiquities (SCA) carrying out a routine archaeological survey at Sail Al-Tofaha area, west of Saint Catherine's Monastery in Sinai, have chanced upon two gold Byzantine coins bearing the head of Emperor Valens (364-378 AD). A number of grotto caves and fragments of clay and glass have already been found in the area.

Zahi Hawass, secretary-general of the SCA, described this discovery as unique because it is the first time that objects linked to that emperor have been found in Egypt. "Coins of Valens were previously found in Lebanon and Syria," Hawass said, adding that remnants of walls along with fragments of clay, glass and porcelain dating to the same era were also unearthed.

See the above for more details, including crystal clear photographs of the obverse and reverse faces of the coin, which is remarkably well preserved.

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