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Hoard from Apollonia

In late June 2012 the archaeological team of the NAIM – BAS headed by Ass. Prof. Dr. Krastina Panayotova and deputy directors Chief Assistant Dr. Margarit Damyanov and Theodora Bogdanova, investigating the necropolis of ancient Apollonia Pontica, discovered a hoard comprising of 225 bronze coins treasured in a small jug. The jug was to be found next to the corner of a stone wall fencing a family sector in the necropolis of the Antique town in the 4th – 3rd c. BC. Such a large deposit cannot find any explanation with the ancient practice normally requiring just a coin in the grave for the dead to pay the underworld ferryman Charon.  More likely this is a hidden treasure nobody has come to take back later.

The coins have been struck in the mint of Apollonia and bear its symbols. The obverse of the smaller pieces bears the head of the God – patron Apollo, and of the larger ones – the God seated on an omphalos. The reverse of both types show the emblem of Apollonia – a bicornuate anchor, a crab, and the character of A. The legend of the smaller coins reads dichalkie – two copper (coins); the bigger ones (ca. 2 cm in diameter), bearing the names of magistrates, might have been equal to four copper coins. If this is the case, the sum of the hoard is about 12 silver drachms. We have not any data concerning Apollonia, but according to the written sources in the 4th c. BC this was the weekly wage of a skilful craftsman in ancient Athens.