BIBLE HISTORY DAILY

Coin Discovery at ed-Dur Suggests a Female Ruler

Bible and archaeology news

An "Abi'el" coin, showing Heracles wearing the head of the Nemean lion as a hood.

Surveys at ed-Dur, a prominent multi-period site in the United Arab Emirates, exposed numerous coins. While some may have come from as far as Rome, coins minted locally include the name “Abi’el, the daughter of so and so” written in Aramaic, according to a recent report in the UAE’s international, English-language newspaper The National.

The Hellenized coins, featuring depictions of Heracles and a god thought to be Zeus or a sun god, are the earliest known coins from the Emirates. Ed-Dur was an important trade center between Mesopotamia and India, and the proposed UNESCO World Heritage site includes important finds from as early as 3,000 B.C.E. The site flourished between 200 B.C.E. and 300 C.E., and features a prominent first-century C.E. temple to a sun god, including sacrificial altars, ashlar masonry and a basin with the Aramaic word “Shamash,” the name of the sun god that is closely tied to the Arabic word Shams, meaning sun.

The National reports that more than “118 copper or silver coins of different shapes and sizes were found at ed-Dur. They follow to some degree the ancient Greek Attic weight standard of obols (a denomination of less than one gram), drachmas (4-5g) and tetradrachms (14-17g).” The locally minted coins provide a new insight into the understudied pre-Islamic administration. Abi’el is frequently invoked on coinage in a wide spread of sites over several centuries, suggesting that there were either multiple rulers called Abi’el, or that the coinage was copied for several centuries.
 


 
The 2012 field season was marked by numismatic discoveries. Read:

Fatimid Treasure Discovered at Crusader-Era Apollonia-Arsuf

Bountiful Hoard Discovered Near Kiryat Gat

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1 Responses

  1. Dutzende Münzen in ad-Dūr entdeckt | Der Almane vom Stamm der Sachsen says:

    […] da es meh­rere Könige und Herr­scher in jener Region es gab, die die­sen Namen trugen.Quel­len:Bible History Daily: Coin Dis­co­very at ed-Dur Sug­gests a Female RulerThe Natio­nal: Was ed-Dur ruled by […]

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1 Responses

  1. Dutzende Münzen in ad-Dūr entdeckt | Der Almane vom Stamm der Sachsen says:

    […] da es meh­rere Könige und Herr­scher in jener Region es gab, die die­sen Namen trugen.Quel­len:Bible History Daily: Coin Dis­co­very at ed-Dur Sug­gests a Female RulerThe Natio­nal: Was ed-Dur ruled by […]

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