Roman silver coin collection found at Aizanoi
A rare collection of 651 silver coins belonging to the Roman period has been found in a jug during the ongoing excavations in the ancient city of Aizanoi, also known as the “Second Ephesus,” in the western province of Kütahya’s Çavdarhisar district.
Excavation and fieldwork in Aizanoi, which is home to the best-preserved Zeus Temple in Anatolia and was included in the UNESCO World Heritage Tentative List in 2012, is being carried out under the coordination of Pamukkale University’s Archeology Department.
Speaking to the state-run Anadolu Agency, the head of the excavations, Professor Eliz Özer, said that earlier German archaeologists were carrying out the excavation work in the ancient city, which is 48 kilometers away from the city center, but since 2011, Turkish experts have been continuing the work.
Noting that the rare silver coins were found in a jug in a stream passing through the ancient city, Özer said: “The jug was aimed to be kept by three terracotta plates covering it. The jug was carefully removed by the excavation team and there were 651 silver coins in it. It was determined that all of these coins belonged to the period of Augustus, one of the emperors of the Roman Republic period.”
“These silver coins are a ‘coin album’ of the last century of the Roman Republic period. It constitutes a very special and unique collection,” Özer added.
Noting that 439 of the silver coins were “denarius” and 212 of them were “cistophor,” which were the monetary units of the time, Özer said that they believe that the coins might have been kept by a high-ranking soldier who came to Aizanoi.
“One or two of these coins found in the collection are of higher value. It has been observed that most of the coins were minted in Southern Italy mints. These are the most special silver coins that have been found in recent times,” Özer said, adding that the coins have been exhibited in the Museum of Anatolian Civilizations.