• latw-22-1
    Electrum third-stater with two boars’ heads and Lydian inscription. Reverse. (Courtesy of the Vedat Nedim Tör Museum, Istanbul)
  • latw-22-2
    Electrum third-stater from Ephesus, boar head with Lydian inscription “…LATE…” (No. 22) (Courtesy of the Vedat Nedim Tör Museum, Istanbul)

Electrum Third-Stater with Two Boars’ Heads and Lydian Inscription

Date
Ca. 630-575 BC, Lydian
Museum
Selcuk, Ephesus Museum, 96/41/86
Inventory No.
96/41/86
Material
Electrum
Object Type
Coin
Coin Denomination
Third stater
Coin Mint
Sardis
Inscription language
Lydian
Inscription Text
...L?ATE...
Inscription Translation
...L?ATE...
Inscription Comment
Site
Ephesus
Description
Electrum coin of one-third stater weight (Ephesus Excavations Inventory ART 86/K345). Obverse: boar head facing left. At the left of the head are the Lydian letters of a partially preserved name, ...]L?ATE[..., and the tip of the snout and tusk of a second boar’s head facing right. Reverse: two punches. Weight 4.70 g.
Comments
This coin is struck using only part of a larger obverse die, which included two boars’ heads; cf. No. 21. The reverse punches used for this coin were used to strike coins of various denominations with boars’ heads on the obverse, and also for coins showing the forepart and extended leg of a lion (none present in this exhibition), showing that both lion-head and boar-head coins were struck at the same mint, which was almost certainly at Sardis. The inscription, “...L?ATE...,” is found on other coins of this type, but the letters are indistinct, and since the die was larger than the coin being struck, the beginning and end of the name are not preserved on this or other coins; it cannot be securely identified with a known Lydian name.

Found in the Artemision at Ephesus, in trench 421 under the north foundation of the Archaic dipteral temple of Artemis. Its findspot is 8 m east of “Cult Base D” (see the electrum twelfth-stater No. 19). This was found closer to the limestone base than the electrum coin No. 19, which was excavated 4 m further east. This coin was found in an earth layer (Bammer 1988, 2: “Erdschicht”) situated immediately above and contiguous to the ashy layer with charcoal, animal bones, pottery and numerous small votives like the electrum coin No. 19, which A. Bammer interpreted as cultic deposit belonging to “Cult Base D” (on the stratigraphy: Bammer 1988, 2, fig. 1–2 - the ashy layer is marked dark gray on fig. 2 and labeled “dunkle Schicht aus Kohle, Asche und Kleinfunden;” cf. Weissl 2003/04, 189). The coin was found at a depth of –0.07 m, whereas the top level of the charcoal layer rich in small votives is slightly deeper, at –0.10 m. Thus, this coin was found in a slightly higher and therefore later deposit than No. 19. The chronological difference in the deposition of the two electrum coins, however, cannot yet be determined, since neither the stratigraphy nor the pottery finds of this area have been studied in detail (cf. above, comment on No. 19). Since the stratum comprising No. 22 was overbuilt by the north foundation of Croesus’ temple, the beginning of its building, which can be dated to the second quarter of the sixth century BC (Kerschner 1997, 88; Weissl 2002, 342–343; Ohnesorg 2007, 128), provides a terminus ante quem for the deposition of No. 22. Together with this coin were found ten pieces of gold jewelry (Pülz 2009, nos. 204, 243, 339, 378, 401, 485, 527, 571, 967, D8, pls. 16, 18, 25, 29, 32, 37–39, 97, 103), a falcon of Naukratite faience (Hölbl 2008a, 212, 219, fig. 186; Hölbl 2008b, 204 cat. no. 216, dated to the late seventh/first half of sixth century BC) and another electrum coin, another one-third stater with a cowering lion with a round “wart” (Bammer 1988, 19, fig. 30a–b; Karwiese 2008a, 133, 147, fig. 113; Karwiese 2008b, 241, cat. no. 298).

Discussed
Kroll, “Coins of Sardis”
Bibliography
Bammer 1988a, 18, Abb. 29a-b; Bammer 1988b, 218 fig. 42 (reading the inscription ...]TVE[... or as a ligature); Bammer 1991a, 64, fig. 5-6; Bammer and Muss 1996, 89; Karwiese 2001, pl. 3:9 (reading ETA-); Karwiese 2008a, Abb. 107-108; Karwiese 2008b, 240 cat. no. 296 (reading Walwetelim); Spier 1998, 331, no. 1 (reading L?ATE); Wallace 2006, 44 (“apparently Lydian letters reading -LATE-”). On the deposit: Bammer 1988, 2, fig. 1–3.
Author
MK, NDC