• latw-17-1
    Electrum third-stater. Obverse. (©Archaeological Exploration of Sardis/President and Fellows of Harvard College)
  • latw-17-2
    Electrum third-stater. Reverse. (©Archaeological Exploration of Sardis/President and Fellows of Harvard College)
  • latw-17-3
    Electrum third-stater from Sardis, held by excavator Pınar Özgüner (©Archaeological Exploration of Sardis/President and Fellows of Harvard College)

Electrum Third-Stater

Date
Ca. 630-560 BC, Lydian
Museum
Manisa, Archaeological and Ethnographic Museum, 22296
Inventory No.
22296
Sardis CATNUM
2008.0020
Material
Electrum
Object Type
Coin
Coin Denomination
Third stater
Coin Mint
Sardis
Site
Sardis
Sector
AC
Trench
Ac-FT 08.1
Locus
Ac-FT 08.1 Locus 7
Description
Electrum third-stater. Obverse: roaring lion head, facing right, with “hairy nose wart.” Reverse: two incuse punches. Good condition. Weight 4.75 g, diameter 12 mm.
Comments
The type of electrum coin with lion head on the obverse and punches on the reverse is associated with the Lydian kings (see Kroll, “Coins of Sardis”). This example was found on the Acropolis of Sardis, together with coins Nos. 18 and 29, and terracotta rooftiles and revetments including No. 59. The most common type of Lydian electrum coin, this coin was nonetheless the first to be found in excavation at the city of Sardis. Analysis of the coin by Dr. Bulent Önay of 9. September University in Izmir revealed that its core contains about 49% gold, 45% silver, and trace amounts of other metals (a normal proportion of gold to silver for Lydian electrum); its surface, however, contains from 57% to 83% gold, and 13% to 35% silver, giving it the characteristic pale gold color of electrum.
Discussed
Kroll, “Coins of Sardis”; Cahill, “City of Sardis”
Bibliography
Cahill forthcoming.
Author
NDC