"Θησαυρός" αργυρών νομισμάτων Φιλίππου Β', Θάσου και Νεάπολης από τους ποταμούς ΔράμαςPart of : Αρχαιολογικόν δελτίον ; Vol.53, 1998, pages 187-256
Hoard of silver coins of Philip II, Thasos and Neapolis from Potami, Drama
The hoard (CH VII, 1985,46) was found and handed in to the authorities in May 1981 by Panayiotis Paroutsis, resident of Potami. The village of Potami lies hard by the river Nestos and its tributary the Despatis, and is 69 km. by road from Drama and 8 km. as the crow flies from the Greek - Bulgarian border.The find consists of 860 silver coins and is the largest hoard of silver coins from East Macedonia discovered so far. The composition of the hoard is as follows: 58 tetradrachms of Philip II, 462 hemiekta of Thasos, and 342 hemidrachms or triobols of Neapolis. Most of the coins were found in two small handmade clay vases, used as thesauraria, though several were outside them, presumably having been placed in a purse of some perishable material, such as cloth or leather. Tetradrachms of Philip IIOf the tetradrachms of Philip II, 39 are of the type with the head of Zeus/Philip on horseback (1-5, 23-57) and 19 of the type with the head of Zeus/young horseman (6-22, 5 8). The classifications of the silver coinage of Philip proposed by G. Le Rider and M. Price give us the following table for the Potami hoard.POTAMIHOARDG. LE RIDER’S CLASSIFICATIONM. PRICE’S CLASSIFICATION1-3Pella IA (359-355/4 BC)Amphipolis (348-336 BC)4-5Pella IB (354/3-349/8 BC)Amphipolis (348-336 BC)6-7Pella IIA1 (348/7-343/2 BC)Amphipolis (348-336 BC)8-12Pella IIA2 (342/1-337/5 BC)Aigai (356-348 BC)13-22Pella IIB (336/5-329/8)Aigai (348-336 BC)23Amphipolis IA (356-355 BC)Pella (348-336 BC)24-57Amphipolis IB (355-349/8 BC)Pella (348-336 BC)58Amphipolis ILA (348/7-343/2 BC)Pella (348-336 BC)Coin no. 58 is a notable case: first, it is a unique issue (in Le Rider the small shield or sphairidion with a bust of Pegasus does not occur as a symbol), and second, the stamp on the obverse (E44) is the same as Le Rider’s D77, which is connected with his R141 with Philip on horseback on the reverse. That is, the same die was used to strike the obverse both of coins with Philip on the reverse and those with the young rider, though this fact does not argue strongly for either classification.Hemiekta of ThasosOn the basis of the direction in which the Silenos is facing on the obverse, the presence or absence of a symbol on the same side, and the inscription on the reverse, the hemiekta of Thasos may be divided into five groups, and 422/1-390 BC is suggested as the period during which they were struck.GROUP/DATEOBVERSEREVERSEI (422/1-411 BC)II (411-405/4 BC)III (405/4-390 BC)IV (end 405/4-390 BC)V (end 405/4-390 BC)Silenos 3/4 leftSilenos rightSilenos left, no symbolSilenos left, symbolSilenos left, no symbolKrater - ΘΑΣΙΩΝ right and leftKrater - ΘΑΣΙΩΝ right and leftKrater - ΘΑΣΙΩΝ right and leftKrater - ΘΑΣΙΩΝ right and leftKrater - ΘΑΣΙΩΝ right and leftThe average weight of the hemiekta is 0.76-0.80 gr., with a tendency to 0.85 gr. When the deterioration resulting from use is taken into account, the average weight is reckoned to hav e been 0.85- 0.90 gr. Of the coins, 153 are pierced with holes, presumably so that they could be used as jewellery.Hemidrachms of NeapolisThe hemidrachms of Neapolis are divided into four groups on the basis of the inscription and the stylistic features of the Gorgon and the female head. 422/1-340 BC, with a gap from 405/4-390 BC, is proposed as the period when they were struck.GROUP/DATEOBVERSEREVERSEI (422/1-411 BC)GorgoneionFemale head, right Ω Π E ZII (411-405/4 BC)GorgoneionFemale head, right N E Π OIII (390-370/60 BC)GorgoneionFemale head, right ΝΕΟΠ (vertically, right)IV (370/60-340 BC)GorgoneionFemale head, right N E Π OThe average weight of the hemidrachms is 1.81-1.85 gr. and the original average weight is reckoned to have been about 1.85 gr. 102 coins are pierced for the same reason as the hemiekta.The presence of coins from these two cities in the same hoard as royal tetradrachms indicates that they circulated simultaneously in the Thracian hinterland at the time of Philip II, and suggests a Thracian preference for these three specific coin denominations. It may therefore be concluded that the hemiekta of Thasos continued in circulation for several decades after they ceased to be minted, probably down to the middle of the 4th c. BC and possibly down to the concealment of the hoard, while the hemidrachms of Neapolis certainly continued in circulation until at least the end of the reign of Philip II. Moreover, irrespective of the fact that the tetradrachms and hemidrachms were struck on the heavy Thraco- Macedonian weight standard and hemiekta on the eastern or Ionian standard, there was a fixed exchange rate between them that facilitated commercial transactions. The ratio of the tetradrachm to the hemidrachm was 1:8, of the tetradrachm to hemiekto 1:6, and of the hemidrachm to hemiekto 1:2.With regard to the nature and composition of the hoard, I believe there are two possible interpretations. First of all, the composition of the hoard and t he presence in it of pierced coins in my view argues against its being a savings hoard or having been concealed of necessity. One of the two interpretations, proposed by the writer, is that the hoard was the takings of a merchant, which he concealed in the face of some emergency, The other interpretation, advanced by other scholars, asserts that the find is the product of the unification of three different and separate groups, which came in some unknown manner into the possession of the person that concealed them, and were placed in the same place, again in the face of an emergency.The concealment of the hoard is dated to around 336/5 BC, during the troubled period in Thracian history that intervened between the uprising of the Thracians and Triballoi after the death of Philip II in 336 BC and Alexander the Great’s campaign against them in spring 335 BC. This date for the burying of the hoard accords with M. Price’s classification of the coinage of Philip II, which I adopt. If G . Le Rider’s classification is adopted, the date for the concealment comes down to between 328 and 325 BC.Finally, a historical section is appended recording the most important events that took place in East Macedonia in the period 424-336/5 BC, the period of the minting and circulation of the three denominations in the hoard.
Περιέχει πίνακες, βιβλιογραφία και συντομογραφίες, Το άρθρο περιέχεται στο τεύχος: Μέρος Α'-Μελέτες