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tin | 16 mm
OBV: Griffin seated left
REV: Kantharos in square
The ancient city of Abdera, located on the coast of the Thracian Sea, owned its prosperity to trade with the Thracian hinterland. This region also provided the city with silver, as large deposits of precious metals were mined there. Thanks to these circumstances, the city began minting coins shortly after its foundation in 540 BC.
Unlike their colleagues in other cities, Abdera's mint officials began very early to put their names on the coins. This means that the municipality of Abdera accurately controlled the output of coins. The image shows a griffin, a mythical creature with the body of a lion and the head and often wings of an eagle.
Abdera's silver coins were designed to be exported. They were traded in the market places on the coast of Asia Minor, in the south of Syria, in Mesopotamia, up to Kabul and to the River Oxus (today's Amu Darya), but most of all on the market of Naukratis in Egypt.