Artwork of the month

April 2018 Archaeology

Stater of Nectanebo II

Initial skepticism
Scholars suggest that the Lydians, whose kingdom was located in the Western litoral of the Anatolian peninsula of what is now the modern nation state of the Republic of Turkey, minted the first coins during the course of the 7th century BC. Thereafter most states in the Mediterranean basin began to mint their own coins so that a monetized economy shortly dominated most national and international financial transactions. Many of those early coins were minted in both gold and silver, but the ancient Egyptians were reluctant to adopt this new practice. They steadfastly adhered to their millennium-old custom of barter—exchanging commodities of equivalent value for other commodities. Their reluctance to adopt coinage has been attributed to their suggested religious aversion for the use of gold, considered to be the flesh of their divinities, and silver, considered to be the bones of their deities, for mundane, mercantile purposes. When the very first coin of the type to which FGA-ARCH-EG-0363 belongs was identified in 1901, scholars, aware of the reluctance of the ancient Egyptian to mint coins, were initially reluctant to accept its authenticity and considered it to be a forgery. 
See the artwork in the collection

Stater of Nectanebo II
Dynasty XXX, reign of Nectanebo II, 360-342 BC
1.7 x 1.7 x 0.3 cm

Geographical origin

Collection Félix-Bienaimé Feuardent (1819-1907)  
Fraysse & Associés, Paris, 26 novembre 2009, lot nº 16

© Fondation Gandur pour l’Art, Genève. Photographer : André Longchamp
© Fondation Gandur pour l’Art, Genève. Photographer : André Longchamp

See also