“Unusual interpretation of the letter Mem”


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. But after further study prompted by a niggling doubt, it turns out that my first assumption was correct and the lettering was indeed mem & sadhe.

Looking closely at the published coins in Duyrat 2005 there is one coin in particular that could have been Phoenician letters heth & sadhe and is numbered 1873 on page 400.

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

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 mem (M) & sadhe (TS) above, Aradian era date 109 below.

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


At first glance my coin appears to be heth & 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 heth to mem.


By Coins Of The Southern Levant Posted in Arados

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