“Unusual interpretation of the letter Heth”

I was in the process of uploading my latest Aradian coin dated 109 with Phoenician letters mem & sadhe and at the same time hoping to confirm the lettering on what as until now been a very uncertain section of coins from Duyrat Série 5, numbered 1872-1884 (listed below). But after further study prompted by a niggling doubt, it turns out that my first assumption was completely wrong and the letters were infact heth & sadhe (even i make mistakes). An honest misinterpretation on my part due to the unusual and uncanny likeness between mem & heth and one which could explain why Frédérique Duyart was also unable to confirm the lettering for this section of coins. Looking closely at the published coins in Duyrat 2005 there is one coin in particular that clearly shows the letters heth & sadhe and is numbered 1873 on page 400.

Final attribution;

Phoenicia, Arados 151-150 B.C AE 17.08mm (Thickness 2.36mm), weight 3.52g, die axis = 2h (60 degrees), denomination C.

Obverse: Braided, bearded head of Zeus right, border of dots.

Reverse: Triple pointed ram of galley left, Phoenician letters heth (H) & sadhe (TS) above, Aradian era date 109 below.

An 109 (151/0), P ?, H ? & M (Now confirmed H & TS)

1872      D74-R87, Berlin, SM, 10142. 3,11 g, 15,8 mm, 12 h.

1873    *D74-R87, New York, ANS 1944 100 70594 Newell. 3,66 g, 15,6 mm, 12 h.

1874    *D75-R88, Paris, BNF, H. Seyrig Y28883,27. 3,05 g, 17,8 mm, 12 h.

1875      D75-R89, Londres, BM, BMC 118. 3,92 g, 15,9 mm, 12 h.

1876      D75-R90, Milan, collection Di Brera no 3577. 3,33 g, 12 h.

1877      D75-R91, Beyrouth, AUB Museum, no 48. 4,30 g, 18 mm, 12 h.

1878    *D76-R92, collection A. Ronde, Paris. 17,2 mm, 12 h.

1879    *D77-R93, collection A. Ronde, Paris. 17,4 mm, 12 h.

1880    *D78-R94, collection particulière, Paris.

1881     *D79-R95, Paris, BNF, Babelon no 980. 4,09 g, 18,8 mm, 12 h.

1882     *D80-R96, New York, ANS 1944 100 70595 Newell. 2,91 g, 16,4 mm, 12 h.

1883     *D81-R97, Berlin,SM,Löbbecke(1906).3,34g,15,9mm, 12 h.

1884     *D82-R98, NewYork,ANS199254611Lindgren.2,07g, 17,0 mm, 12 h.

1875b   *D83-R99, Stockholm, collection Martin Rowe. 3,52 g, 17,08 mm, 2 h. 

On the left Heth as it is normally written and on the right the engravers unusual interpretation of the letter.


At first glance my coin appears to be mem & sadhe, it is only when zooming in that one can determine the letters true identity.

KU 2

The only way to see which combination of letters are truly hidden under the sand and crud is by examining the coin under a magnifying glass. Below are some close-up shots which will hopefully show why i changed my opinion from mem to heth.


By Coins Of The Southern Levant Posted in Arados

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