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Home ▸ Catalog ▸ |Greek Coins| ▸ |Geographic - All Periods| ▸ |Anatolia| ▸ |Caria| ▸ |Kaunos||View Options:  |  |  | 

Ancient Coins of Kaunos, Caria

Kaunos was a city of ancient Caria and in Anatolia, a few km west of the modern town of Dalyan, Muğla Province, Turkey. The Calbys river (now known as the Dalyan river) was the border between Caria and Lycia. Initially Kaunos was a separate state, then it became a part of Caria, and later still of Lycia. Kaunos was an important sea port, the history of which is supposed to date back till the 10th century B.C. Because of silting of the former Bay of Dalyan (from c. 200 B.C. onwards), Kaunos is now about 8 km from the coast. The city had two ports. The southern port was used from the foundation of the city till roughly the end of the Hellenistic era, after which it became inaccessible due to drying out. The inner or trade port could be closed by chains. The latter was used till the late days of Kaunos, but due to the silting of the delta and the ports, Kaunos had by then long lost its important function as a trade port. After Caria had been captured by Turkish tribes and a serious malaria epidemic in the 15th century A.D., Kaunos was completely abandoned. Outside the official Kaunos archeological site, there are beautiful rock tombs on the Dalyan river.Rock Tombs of Kaunos


Kaunos, Caria, c. 197 - 191 B.C. (or Later 2nd Century)

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On the Rosetta Stone, "The Memphis Decree" announces Ptolemy V's rule and ascension to godhood, and describes him as "like Horus." In "A Statue of a Hellenistic King," Journal of Hellenistic Studies, 33 (1913), C. Edgar attributes a statue very similar to the reverse figure to Ptolemy V: "[The statue] stands with right foot drawn back, the toes alone resting on the ground...His head is held erect and his gaze is turned slightly to his right. His shoulders are drawn up a little...[the upper part] unnaturally short in proportion to the lower part of the trunk...[The missing right] forearm was clear of the body. The [missing] left hand was raised and probably rested on a spear." We believe this type is from the among the last issues of Kaunos under Ptolemaic rule, struck after the 13 year old Ptolemy V came of age in 197/6 B.C., perhaps to commemorate his accession, and before he sold the city to the Rhodians for 200 talents of silver in 191 B.C.
GB87087. Bronze AE 16, SNGvA 8103; Lindgren III 425; Imhoof-Blumer KM I, p. 138, 1; BMC Caria -; SNG Cop -; SNG Keckman -; SNG München -, VF, green patina, well centered on a tight flan, a little porous/rough, tiny edge crack, weight 2.166 g, maximum diameter 15.6 mm, die axis 0o, Kaunos (Dalyan, Turkey) mint, c. 197 - 191 B.C. (or later 2nd century); obverse diademed and horned head of Alexander the Great right; reverse youth (Ptolemy V as Horus?) advancing right, nude, long lotus-tipped scepter transverse in left hand, right arm and index finger extended, snake before him coiled around scepter, K-AY (Kaunos) divided high across field, ΣΩ-TAΣ (magistrate) divided across center; very rare; $140.00 (€123.20)
 


Kaunos, Caria, c. 309 - 189 B.C.

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In 189 B.C. the Roman senate put Kaunos under Rhodes. In 167, Kaunos and other cities revolted against Rhodes. As a result, Rome removed Rhodes' authority. In 129, Rome established the Province of Asia, covering a large part of western Anatolia. Kaunos was assigned to Lycia. When Mithridates invaded in 88 B.C., the Kaunians joined him and killed all the Romans in the city. After the peace of 85 B.C. as part of their punishment, Kaunos was again put under Rhodian administration.
GB92795. Bronze AE 10, SNG Keckman 75; SNGvA 8100; SNG Cop 184; BMC Caria p. 75, 12, F, tight flan, porous, weight 0.981 g, maximum diameter 10.0 mm, die axis 180o, Kaunos (Dalyan, Turkey) mint, c. 309 - 189 B.C.; obverse diademed young head (Alexander the Great?) right; reverse cornucopia bound with fillet, K-AY (AY in monogram) divided across field; scarce; $30.00 (€26.40)
 


Kaunos, Caria, c. 490 - 470 B.C.

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Caria was made a Persian satrapy in 545 B.C. The area rebelled along with Ionia c. 497 B.C. but was subdued by 493 B.C. After Xerxes' defeats, the Persians withdrew from the western Anatolian coast and Kaunos joined the Delian League, founded in 477 B.C. This type, among the earliest from Kaunos, was struck during this tumultuous period or shortly after.

In 387 B.C. Kaunos again fell under Persian rule. It was conquered by Alexander III of Macedon in 334 B.C.

The baetyl, a stone cult object, was found in Kaunos, broken in two parts, in the ruins of a round building near the harbor. Made of limestone, over 4 meters high and 1.5 meters wide, it appears the stone was originally worshiped in the open. The temple was built around it in the 4th century B.C.
SH59841. Silver stater, Konuk 11 (O9/R8); Troxell Winged 6 (same dies), SNG Keckman 810 (same obv die); Asyut 684 (same); BMC Lycaonia p. 95, 3; SNGvA 2344; Rosen 622, VF, weight 11.766 g, maximum diameter 18.7 mm, die axis 180o, Kaunos mint, c. 490 - 470 B.C.; obverse Iris running-kneeling right, open curved wings, arms extended, head turned back left, wearing long chiton and winged shoes, two scrolls curling from top of her head; reverse conical baetyl within a crude square incuse; SOLD







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REFERENCES|

Ashton, R. "A Pseudo-Rhodian drachm from Kaunos" in SM 151 (August 1988).
Ashton, R. "The Hellenistic Hemidrachms of Kaunos" in RBN CXLV (1999).
Ashton, R. "The Late Classical/Early Hellenistic Drachms of Knidos" in RN 1999, pp. 63 - 94 and pl. V - XII.
Babelon, J. Catalogue de la collection de Luynes: monnaies greques. (Paris, 1924-1936).
Babelon, E. Traité des Monnaies Grecques et Romaines. (Paris, 1901-1932).
Brett, A. Catalogue of Greek Coins, Boston Museum of Fine Arts. (Boston, 1955).
Forrer, L. Descriptive Catalogue of the Collection of Greek Coins formed by Sir Hermann Weber, Vol. III, Part 1. (London, 1926).
Grose, S. Catalogue of the McClean Collection of Greek Coins, Fitzwilliam Museum, Vol. II: The Greek mainland, the Aegaean islands, Crete. (Cambridge, 1926).
Head, B. A Catalog of the Greek Coins in the British Museum, Caria, Cos, Rhodes, etc. (London, 1897).
HNO - |Historia| |Numorum| |Online| |Database| - http://hno.huma-num.fr/
Imhoof-Blumer, F. Kleinasiatische Münzen. (Vienna, 1901-2).
Konuk, K. "The Early Coinage of Kaunos" in Studies Price, p. 197-223, pl. 47-50.
Lindgren, H. Lindgren III: Ancient Greek Bronze Coins from the Lindgren Collection. (Quarryville, 1993).
Lindgren, H. & F. Kovacs. Ancient Bronze Coins of Asia Minor and the Levant. (San Mateo, 1985).
Mildenberg, L. & S. Hurter, eds. The Dewing Collection of Greek Coins. ACNAC 6. (New York, 1985).
Sear, D. Greek Coins and Their Values, Volume 2, Asia and Africa. (London, 1979).
Sylloge Nummorum Graecorum, Denmark, The Royal Collection of Coins and Medals, Danish National Museum, Vol. 5: Ionia, Caria and Lydia. (West Milford, NJ, 1982).
Sylloge Nummorum Graecorum, Deutschland, München Staatlische Münzsammlung, Part 22: Caria. (Berlin, 2006).
Sylloge Nummorum Graecorum, Deutschland, Münzsammlung Universität Tübingen, Part 5: Karien und Lydien. (Berlin, 1994).
Sylloge Nummorum Graecorum, Deutschland, Sammlung Hans Von Aulock, Vol. 2: Caria, Lydia, Phrygia, Lycia, Pamphylia. (Berlin, 1962).
Sylloge Nummorum Graecorum, Finland, The Erkki Keckman Collection in the Skopbank, Helsinki, Part 1: Karia. (Helsinki, 1994).
Sylloge Nummorum Graecorum, France, Bibliothèque National, Collection Jean et Marie Delepierre. (Paris, 1983).
Sylloge Nummorum Graecorum, Great Britain VI, Corpus Christi College Cambridge, The Lewis Collection II: The Greek Imperial Coins. (1992).
Sylloge Nummorum Graecorum, Turkey I: The Muharrem Kayhan Collection. (Istanbul, 2002).
Sylloge Nummorum Graecorum, Turkey VIII: Mugla Museum, Vol. 1: Caria. (Istanbul, 2012).
Troxell, H. "Carians in Miniature" in Studies Mildenberg.
Troxell, H. "Winged Carians" in Essays Thompson.
Waggoner, N. Early Greek Coins from the Collection of Jonathan P. Rosen (ANS ACNAC 5). (New York, 1983).

Catalog current as of Monday, October 14, 2019.
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Kaunos