Küchük Köhne hoard

Newell, Edward Theodore, 1886-1941
Numismatic Notes and Monographs
American Numismatic Society
New York
Worldcat Works




Open access edition funded by the National Endowment for the Humanities/Andrew W. Mellon Foundation Humanities Open Book Program.


Table of Contents




The little hamlet of Küchük Köhne, closely surrounded by ancient hüyüks and other vestiges of pre-classical as well as classical remains, 1 is situated just across the Eyghri Özü river in a southwesterly direction from the modern town of Köhne, Vilayet of Yozgat, in central Anatolia. There, sometime in the early part of 1930, was unearthed by persons unknown a small earthenware pot containing twenty-eight ancient silver coins dating from the last half of the Fourth Century B.C. These coins had been variously struck in the mints of Sinope, Amisus, and Tarsus. The hoard was seized by a member of the local Turkish Gendarmerie who transmitted it into the hands of his superior officer stationed at Köhne. There the hoard was seen and secured by Dr. H. H. von der Osten 2 in charge of the Anatolian Expedition of the Oriental Institute of the University of Chicago. The coins were then cleaned of their accumulated dust and, together with the fragments of the pot, photographed. Eventually the entire hoard was taken to Ankara 3 and delivered by Dr. von der Osten to His Excellency Aziz Bey, Director of Antiquities of the Ministry of Public Instruction.

The earthenware vessel, which once contained our little hoard, was indeed badly smashed by its finder, but fortunately enough of the fragments remain to allow of a partial reconstruction which gives an idea of its original shape and size (cf. Plates I and II). The measurements and description are as follows:

Height 83 mm.
Diameter of the Body 90 mm.
Diameter of the Bottom 51 mm.
Thickness 4 mm.
Condition Fragmentary.
Quality Buff ware.
  Wheel made.
  Grit tempered.
  Wet smoothed.
Decoration Vertical ribbing on the upper third of the body as far as the neck; four small rounded protuberances equally spaced around the vessel just above the median body bulge.
Handle None.
Rim Missing.

Obviously, and as actual experiment has shown, the twenty-eight coins would not half fill the pot. On the other hand, it has been definitely stated that no more than these twenty-eight coins were actually found. Although such matters are, obviously, very difficult to control, the writer has taken the statements at their face value and has assumed them to be substantially correct.

The contents of the pot as reported comprise the following varieties.


4th Century B.C.

Persian Sigli

1–3. Obverse. Head of Hera or of the nymph Amisus to l. wearing turreted stephane (adorned with flower and rosettes), triple pendant earring and necklace. Circle of dots.

Reverse. Owl with wings spread, facing and perched upon a shield. On the l., club. In the field, ΔI–OΓ. In the exergue, imageEIPA. On no. 1 the symbol is "off flan." No. 2 has a deep chisel cut. Cf. Recueil, 4 2nd Ed., p. 54, no. 1.

4. Obverse. Similar to the preceding.

Reverse. Similar but with no symbol visible. The magistrate's name is MY–ΛΛ. Chisel cut.


Before circa 360 B.C.

Light Aeginetan Drachms

5. Obverse. Head of the nymph Sinope to l. wearing sphendone. Circle of dots.

Reverse. Eagle with spread wings standing to l. upon a dolphin. In upper r. field, imageAᓬ (the last letter is uncertain). In the exergue, ᓬINΩ. Two chisel cuts. Recueil, p. 198*, no. 20.

Circa 360–320 B.C.

6. Obverse. Head of the nymph Sinope to l. wearing sphendone, triple drop earring and necklace. In front, Aplustre. Circle of dots.

Reverse. Eagle to l. on dolphin as above. Magistrate's name, APIᓬTO. Chisel cut. Recueil, p. 200*, no. 22.

7. Obverse. Similar

Reverse. Similar, but magistrate's name, AᓬT (=AᓬTYO?). Chisel cut. Recueil, p. 200*.

8. Obverse. Similar.

Reverse. Similar but magistrate HPΩN. Chisel cut. Recueil, p. 193**.

9–12. Obverse. Similar.

Reverse. Similar but magistrate ⊙EOTI. Nos. 9, 10 and 11 have chisel cuts. Recueil, p. 193**.

13. Obverse. Similar.

Reverse. Similar but magistrate KAΛΛI(A?). Recueil, p. 193**.

14–16. Obverse. Similar.

Reverse. Similar but magistrate KAPimageO. Chisel cuts. Recueil, p. 193**.

Obverse. Similar.

17. Reverse. Similar but magistrate ΦAΓE(TA?). Recueil, p. 193**.

18. Obverse. Similar.

Reverse. Similar but magistrate Ψ -----TI? (the chisel cut, combined with the dimness of this part of the photograph, makes the letters of the name impossible to read). Chisel cut.


Mazaeus, 361–333 B.C.

Persic Staters

19. Obverse. Baaltars, naked to waist, seated to l. upon a diphros, holding an eagle upon his outstretched r. and resting his l. upon a sceptre. His wreath-encircled head is facing. On the r., image. On the 1., image Circle of dots.

Reverse. Lion attacking a bull to l. Above, image Below, image Linear circle. Chisel cut. Myriandros, 5 p. 9, Series III, Group A, no. r.

20. Obverse. Similar, but in addition to the eagle Baaltars also holds a bunch of grapes and an ear of barley. On the 1., image Circle of dots.

Reverse. Similar, but the letters of the inscriptions are composed of dotted lines. Chisel cut. Myriandros, p. 10, Series III, Group C, no. u.

21–22. Obverse. Similar. On the 1., image Beneath diphros, image Circle of dots.

Reverse. Similar. image in plain letters. No letters beneath the bull. Circle of dots. Chisel cut. Myriandros, p. 13, Ser. V, no. dd.

23. Obverse. Similar. On l., indistinct letters, possibly image (?). Beneath diphros, image On the r., between the body of Baaltars and his sceptre, an uncertain letter or symbol. The photograph is none too sharp at this particular spot and only from the coin itself could one determine the exact significance or nature of this enigmatic letter.

Reverse. Similar to the preceding. Chisel cut. Myriandros, p. 13, Ser. V, no. ee.

24. Obverse Baaltars seated to l. on diphros. His l. arm, wrapped in his mantle, rests upon his hip, while with his r. hand he holds a long, eagle-tipped sceptre. Before him, ear of barley and bunch of grapes. On the r., image On the 1., image Beneath diphros, image

Reverse. Lion to l., attacking bull to r. above a double row of crenellated walls. Above, image Chisel cut. Myriandros, p. 14, Series VI, Ser. B, no. ii.

Under Alexander the Great Circa 327–320 B.C.

25. Obverse. Baaltars seated to l. on diphros, his l. arm wrapped in his mantle, his r. hand holding a lotus-tipped sceptre. In the l. field, ear of barley and bunch of grapes. Beneath diphros, M. A chisel cut renders somewhat uncertain the possible presence behind Baaltars of the letter B or an ivy leaf. Probably this part of the field was plain. Circle of dots.

Reverse. Bust of Athena in triple-crested Attic helmet, nearly facing and inclined slightly to the l. She wears earring and necklace. Circle of dots. Chisel cut. Tarsos, 6 p. 110, Ser. II, no. j.

26. Obverse. Similar but in r. field, B above ivy leaf. Beneath diphros, image.

Reverse. Similar. Chisel cut. Tarsos, Ser. II, Fourth Group, no. r.

27–28. Obverse. Similar but in r. field, ivy leaf above B. Beneath diphros, T.

Reverse. Similar but in l. field, Corinthian helmet. Chisel cut. Tarsos, p. 43, Ser. II, Fourth Group, no. t.

As may be seen by a glance at the plates all the coins in our hoard were, barring the test cuts, in uniformly fine condition, that is, only slightly circulated or not at all, and with surfaces untouched by corrosion. Obviously the coins had circulated from hand to hand but little before being consigned by their former owner to the clay receptacle in which they were ultimately found.

The four coins (nos. 1–4) from the mint at Amisus require little comment except to remark in passing that only two of them have been tested in antiquity for a suspected copper core. This may mean something in the light of the present writer's own collection, whose ten Amisian sigli show no test cuts whatever. Similarly, in the Recueil, of the two hundred and twenty-six 7 specimens there described (nos. 1–6) no less than two hundred and thirteen are without chisel cuts and only thirteen with. Even if the compilers were not always scrupulously exact7 this great disproportion between the tested and the non-tested pieces is very striking indeed. As we shall see, the Amisian issues would appear to have enjoyed a higher reputation in ancient times for their honesty than the contemporaneous ones of either Sinope or Tarsus.

Wroth, in the British Museum Catalogue, Pontus, etc., p. 13, divides the early inscribed issues of Amisus into two groups which he dates "circ. B.C. 400–360" and "after circ. B.C. 360" respectively. Our nos. 1–4 all belong to Wroth's second group. He is surely right in thus dis- tinguishing two styles, and his dating for coins similar to ours cannot be far wrong as indicated by their presence in the Küchük Köhne hoard. The Recueil more vaguely assigns them all, without distinction of style, to "IVe Siècle avant J.C."

The fourteen specimens from the Sinope mint in our hoard fall into two groups. The earlier is represented by but one example, no. 5. This particular group is characterized by the absence of the aplustre symbol on the obverse and, following the Recueil, 8 may be assigned to the first part of the Fourth Century B.C. With regard to the actual specimen in the Küchük Köhne hoard, its general style is so poor, the details thick, clumsy and ugly, the letters uncertain, uneven and so badly made that the coin may well be considered as a barbaric copy of the genuine issue. Even in ancient times its authenticity seems to have been especially questioned as it is the only coin in the entire hoard that has been disfigured by two chisel cuts. One cut was deemed sufficient to prove the honesty of the remaining pieces.

The thirteen other drachms from Sinope all belong to the group bearing the aplustre symbol and further characterised by the triple pendant to the nymph's earring. This group is assigned by the authors of the second edition of the Recueil to the period between 360 and 320 B.C. 9 Our hoard provides an important service in coming now to prove unequivocably that this revised dating is certainly correct as against the earlier assignment of these same coins to 322–220 B.C., 10 or even as against Six's 11 dating of circa 333–306, which dating was later followed by Wroth in the British Museum Catalogue. As we shall see later the Küchük Köhne hoard could not have been buried after 320 B.C. 12 at the latest, and may even have been in the ground for a few years previous to this date.

The thirteen specimens of the group before us bear the names of eight magistrates, unfortunately however not including that of IKEᓬIO (Hikesios, father of Diogenes the Cynic), the presence of whose name on this series was the determining factor in persuading the authors of the Recueil to revise the datings of this group. 13

Three of the fourteen drachms of Sinope before us lack chisel cuts. Of the four specimens of the same type in the writer's collection one bears a chisel mark, while of the one hundred and fifty examples listed in the Recueil two are fourrée, one hundred and thirty-two are undamaged and sixteen have test cuts—in each case a much higher percentage than shown by the extant coins of Amisus.

Coming now to the Persic staters (nos. 19–24) of Mazaeus it may be noted that all belong to his later issues, no specimen bearing the lion and stag type 14 being present in the hoard. Following the arrangement proposed by the writer some years ago 15 our no. 19 may be assigned to Series III, Group A; no. 20 to Series III, Group C; nos. 21–3 to Series V and no. 24 to Series VI, Group B of Mazaeus' numerous and prolific issues produced at Tarsus. The latest coin of this group, bearing the bull and lion type above the walls of Tarsus, undoubtedly immediately preceded the issue in that city of Alexander's well known coins. 16 Our no. 24, then, may be assigned to circa 336–333 B.C., while nos. 19–23, which by all criteria of style and fabric must have preceded it, may cover the years circa 345–336 B.C.

Somewhat better preserved—to judge by our photographs—and therefore presumably later than nos. 19–24, come the four Persic staters (nos. 25–8) bearing the facing bust of Athena. In a study of the Alexandrine issues at Tarsus 17 the present writer, on purely technical grounds, assigned similar coins to the years after circa 327 18 and before 320/19 B.C., and there stated his further personal opinion that they probably came soon after 327 B.C. The appearance and condition of the four specimens in the Küchük Köhne hoard support although they do not necessarily prove the contention. Really definite proof of a post-Alexandrine date for these Athena staters is to be found in the position of Baaltars' legs. They are not placed parallel to each other as on all earlier coinages as well as on the earliest issues of Alexander himself, but the right leg, from the knee downward, is drawn back behind the left. This scheme was not introduced upon Alexander's issues until circa 326–5 B.C. at the very earliest. 19 Much earlier than that date the Athena type Persic staters could not well be, and they therefore represent the latest coins in our hoard which can be closely dated. As two of them, nos. 25 and 27, display some faint signs of abrasion on their highest points, i.e. on the helmet visor as well as on the nose and lips of Athena, these particular specimens must have been in circulation for at least a little time before their burial. Taking all of these factors into consideration we appear justified in placing the burial of the hoard somewhat roughly between circa 325 and 320 B.C. By the last of these dates the leading authorities are now agreed that the sigli of Amisus, the drachms of Sinope and the staters of Tarsus had all alike ceased to be coined.

On the other hand, the acceptance of such a date for the interment of the Küchük Köhne hoard causes certain interesting if minor anomalies to appear. Particularly noticeable is the fact that it contained no coins of Alexander the Great, although his important mint of Tarsus—the most natural source of coinage supply for the lands to the north of the Taurus Mountains—had commenced coining with the new types immediately after his arrival in Cilicia in the spring of 333 B.C. 20 However, as the present writer has tried to stress in his study of the Tarsian mint under Alexander, 21 these Alexandrine issues represented an imperial undertaking meant for the pay of the army of occupation in Cilicia and to facilitate commercial transactions with the remainder of the empire. But neither Cappadocia nor the adjacent lands to the north as far as the Black Sea were at this time actually part 22 of the empire, though theoretically they may have been generally considered so. Furthermore, Alexander's mints in Asia Minor were, during his life time, situated only on the very outermost western and southern fringes of that district, i.e. at Lampsacus, Miletus, Side (or Phaselis?) and Tarsus. 23 It is probable that years may have elapsed before his coins were circulating at all freely in the highlands and over the central plateau of Anatolia. Especially would such be the case during the years when Ariarathes I was maintaining in that district an independent kingdom practically in defiance of the Macedonian power. The Pontic cities seem not to have coined with Alexandrine types until well on in the Third Century B.C. and it is still very uncertain if such coins were ever struck in the fastnesses of Anatolia—though imitations, apparently, commenced to be made there in and around 300 B.C. 24 It is highly questionable if before 322 B.C. many Alexandrine coins could have penetrated as far as the countryside about Küchük Köhne, certainly not in sufficient numbers to be in any general circulation there. The circulating medium during the reign of Ariarathes I would obviously still remain just the type of coins which our burial-pot contained—coins which for years had constituted the accustomed media of exchange along the inland highroads 25 of commerce which linked the Mediterranean and Pontic Seas. The mere absence from our hoard of any coins bearing Alexander's name and types does not therefore necessarily imply that the hoard must have been buried before the time of Alexander's arrival in Asia Minor.

More surprising appears to be the total absence of the half staters (Persian sigli) bearing the types of Baal Gazur on the obverse and the griffin attacking the stag on the reverse which Ariarathes I struck in his capital of Gaziura. 26 One might well have expected that a hoard which obviously dates from about the period of his lifetime and was buried at a spot within his dominions not sixty-five Roman miles 27 (by road about ninety kilometers or fifty-six miles) southwesterly from his capital Gaziura, would assuredly have contained at least one specimen of his own royal issues. Neither does the hoard contain a single example of Ariarathes' imitations of the Sinope type, bearing his name in Aramaic letters image in place of the usual ᓬINΩ.

Three possible assumptions to explain these discrepancies are open to us. Either the hoard was buried before Ariarathes I became sufficiently independent to dare to assume coinage rights, or the coins in question were not struck by Ariarathes I but by his son and eventual successor Ariarathes II, or—if the latter supposition be considered absolutely untenable—there may have existed some special reason why the former owner of our peculium saw fit to reject from it the issues of his lord and master in favor of the more widely circulating coins of Sinope, Amisus and Tarsus.

Before discussing and eventually adopting one or the other of these three explanations we should consider, very briefly, the probable regnal years of Ariarathes I, as they have some bearing upon the subject. Most historians follow the opinion that he ruled Pontic Cappadocia (either as local dynast or Persian Hyparch with his capital at Gaziura) from the days of Artaxerxes Ochus down to circa 331 B.C. when, during the confused times attending Alexander's invasion of Asia, he was successful in adding to his dominions also the territories of Southern Cappadocia. 28 Théodore Reinach, 29 however, considered his reign to have commenced as late as 332–330 B.C. All writers are agreed in following Diodorus' account that in 322 B.C. Ariarathes I was finally captured and crucified by Perdiccas, who had invaded his territories for the express purpose of delivering them over to Eumenes as their accredited Satrap. As few historians have accepted Reinach's theory with re- gard to the commencement of Ariarathes' reign it would appear preferable to follow the majority opinion according to which Ariarathes I was indeed the octogenarian of Lucian's Macrobii, having been born circa 404 B.C., that he ruled for many years at Gaziura in Pontic Cappadocia and that later, taking advantage of the troublous conditions brought about by Alexander's expedition, he acquired Southern or Tauric Cappadocia, which he ruled until his death in 322 B.C.

Because of the conflicting views of his historians the coins of Ariarathes have been assigned to extremely divergent periods of his reign. W. H. Waddington 30 attributes them to les vingt dernières années environ de la monarchie persane, ainsi que pendant le règne d'Alexandre. Reinach, because of his own theories, assigns both the Sinope 31 and the Gaziura 32 types to the years circa 331–322 B.C. only. Head's Historia Numorum, 2d Edition, 33 follows Reinach in this as does also Wroth for the Gaziura 34 type but not for the Sinope 35 type where he elects to follow the old dating of 341–333 B.C. for these particular pieces. Babelon, on the other hand, assigns the Sinope 36 type to the period 350–340 B.C. and the Gaziura 37 type to the period of his full independence between 331 and 322 B.C. Lately Mr. E. S. G. Robinson, in discussing a hoard of earlier Sinopean drachms, 38 says: "It, therefore, seems probable that his (Ariarathes') earliest issues are to be dated not many years before the conquest of Alexander, and the bulk of his money may even belong to the period of his attempted independence, 328–322."

In examining the arguments of these various students one fact soon becomes apparent, namely that without exception they all appear to assume—most of them categorically, a few with somewhat veiled hesitancy—that the Sinopean types of Ariarathes, as well as the similar coins of his unknown predecessor, one Abdssn, were all actually produced at Sinope itself. Considerations of style and fabric make any such supposition appear highly problematical to the present writer.. The second edition of the Recueil does, however, make an important stride forward when it discards the quite impossible earlier opinion that the autonomous drachms of Sinope which bear the aplustre ornament on their obverses succeeded the similar issues with Aramaic inscriptions of Abdssn and Ariarathes. Every criterion of style proves clearly that the hard, dry, lifeless and rather weak die-cutting of the latter can only be explained by supposing that they were produced in imitation of the much finer autonomous Sinopean coins. Compare figs. 1, 2, and 3 (representing typical specimens of these Aramaic coins in the writer's collection) with the true Sinopean examples from our hoard illustrated on Plates III and IV. If these Aramaic coins had been produced immediately preceding or im- mediately succeeding the true issues and at Sinope itself—as previous writers all suppose—there seems to be no valid reason why the former should not have been similar in style and the equal in excellence of the latter. The Sinopean issues of the Persian Datames present a case in point. His issues, 39 bearing his name in Greek characters,


Fig. 1


Fig. 2


Fig. 3




Ariarathes I

are so identical in style and fabric with the city's own contemporaneous issues that no competent numismatist would hesitate in supposing them to have been produced by any but Sinopean engravers. In comparison with their prototypes, the coins of Abdssn and Ariarathes appear to be obviously the products of other than Sinopean die cutters and, therefore, issued elsewhere in direct imitation of the well known and widely accepted coinages of that city. The employment of Aramaic instead of Greek letters for the inscriptions—in comparison with the procedure of Datames in a similar case—suggests if it does not actually prove our contention that the former coins were made by non-Greek die cutters and at some other mint or mints.

It seems clear that the Sinopean autonomous issues which bear the aplustre in the field, in front of the nymph's head wearing a triple pendant earring, must immediately follow (circa 350 B.C.) the latest issues of the plain type as described by Mr. Robinson on pp. 14–5 of his article mentioned above. How long this aplustre series lasted can hardly as yet be definitely determined. In view of the fact that the names of at least thirty-five different magistrates are known to have signed the coins we may safely follow the Recueil in continuing them down to at least circa 320 B.C. In the meanwhile, the petty dynasts or aspiring satraps Abdssn and Ariarathes, desiring to issue money of their own, did so—employing types which did not need advertising or explanations. Theirs was an obvious procedure of which countless similar instances are known in the coinages of all ages and climes.

With regard to Ariarathes, the obvious supposition lies to hand that he imitated the contemporaneous issues of Sinope while he was still petty dynast or Persian Hyparch of Pontic Cappadocia at Gaziura. This imitative coinage would have commenced before his acquisition of Southern Cappadocia and may even have continued for a little while after that important event. These coins were then followed by his more pretentious Baal Gazur half staters, after he had widened his dominions so as to embrace all Cappadocia. These royal coins were of course direct imitations of the satrapal issues of Mazaeus at Tarsus, which latter coins our hoard proves were still circulating in central Anatolia as late as the last quarter of the Fourth Century B.C.

Our reasoned opinion has been stated above that the contents of the pot found near Küchük Köhne indicate that it could not have been buried before 333 B.C., probably nearer 325–320 B.C. Hence it must have been interred after the first appearance of Ariarathes' Sinopean imitations. All modern numismatists, with the single exception of the historian Droysen, 40 are agreed in assigning these coins to Ariarathes I rather than to the second of that name who ruled from 301–280 B.C. The same is true of the Baal Gazur type, which would hardly have been adopted as late as Ariarathes II's reign, by which time the prototypes of Mazaeus at Tarsus must surely have all but totally disappeared from commerce in favor of the now rapidly spreading Alexandrine coinages. Thus two of the three possible explanations en- visaging the curious absence from the hoard of Ariarathes' own coins have been removed.

There remains then the third alternative, namely that the former owner of the hoard must have had some special reason for eliminating Ariarathes' issues from his pot. Now it is a well known fact, commented upon by scholars, 41 that these imitation Sinope drachms of Ariarathes (as also those of Abdssn) average distinctly lighter than the general run of similar drachms certainly struck at Sinope. Considering only those drachms of Sinope characterised by the presence of the aplustre we find the weights of eighty-three 42 specimens given in the Recueil. To these have also been added the weights of four specimens in the writer's collection. These eighty-seven coins weigh a total of grammes 506.52, or an average of grammes 5.821 each. The following "Frequency Table" tends to show that the intended weight of these Sinopean drachms lay somewhere between the ranges of 5.80 and 6.10 grammes each. The sigli of Amisus, while averaging less than do the contemporaneous coins of Sinope, are also distinctly higher than the imitations of Sinope issued by Ariarathes. Again referring to the Recueil 43 we find two hundred specimens whose weights are recorded, and adding to these the weights of nine specimens in the writer's collection, we secure a grand total for the

Frequency Table for Drachms of Sinope with Aplustre Symbol

Weights Numbers
Above 6.10 grammes 4
6.09 to 6.00 grammes 19 5.99 to 5.90 grammes 20
5.89 to 5.80 grammes 15
5.79 to 5.70 grammes 8
5.69 to 5.60 grammes 9
5.59 to 5.50 grammes 1
5.49 to 5.40 grammes 4
5.39 to 5.30 grammes 4
5.29 to 5.20 grammes 3
two hundred and nine coins of grammes 1150.00, or an average of grammes 5.502 per coin.

In striking contrast to the above results come the weights of the drachms struck by Ariarathes in imitation of the Sinope type. The twenty-four specimens whose weights have been recorded in the Recueil, 44 plus two specimens in the writer's own collection, give a total of grammes 134.53 for the twenty-six coins, or an average of grammes 5.174 per piece. This result, however, includes the rather exceptional weight recorded for one piece, namely grammes 5.91. There is reason to believe that this unusually high weight among the drachms of Ariarathes may be due either to a typographical error or, more likely, to the fact that this particular example may in reality be an ancient imitation of Ariarathes' imitations! For, curiously enough, such imitations actually weigh distinctly higher than do his own true issues, as a glance at the Recueil, p. 200**, nos. 37, 38, 40, clearly shows. If we should eliminate this very exceptional weight the average for his own issues then gives us only grammes 5.144 per coin. The following table of frequency would seem to suggest an intended weight for his drachms somewhere between the extremes of grammes 4.90 and, perhaps, grammes 5.30 per coin.

Frequency Table for Drachms of Ariarathes with Sinopean Types

Weights Numbers
Above 5.50 grammes 1
5.49 to 5.40 grammes 2 5.39 to 5.30 grammes 2
5.29 to 5.20 grammes 4
5.19 to 5.10 grammes 6
5.09 to 5.00 grammes 3
4.99 to 4.90 grammes 4
4.89 to 4.80 grammes 0
4.79 to 4.70 grammes 1
4.69 to 4.60 grammes 1
4.59 to 4.50 grammes 0
4.49 to 4.40 grammes 1
4.39 to 4,30 grammes 1

Of practically identical weight are Ariarathes' Baal Gazur half staters. The seventeen weights recorded in the Recueil, plus those of the two specimens in the writer's collection, give a grand total of grammes 97.63 for the nineteen examples, or an average of grammes 5.138 per coin. If then we take the average of 5.144 for Ariarathes' Sinopean imitations and the 5.138 for his Baal Gazur half staters and, further, compare these with the 5.821 for the standard drachm of Sinope and the 5.502 for the standard siglos of Amisus—we discover a very good and sufficient reason why the original owner of the Küchük Köhne hoard should have retained for daily use such Cappadocian coins as he happened to possess, the while he buried for future purposes his coins of fuller weight and wider currency. If we should further assume that the hoard may have actually been deposited in 322 B.C., during or just after the disastrous defeat of Ariarathes, we can practically envisage the thoughts of its owner. To him it would be much to be feared that henceforth the light weight Cappadocian coins might no longer be of any other than bullion value and that therefore he might better keep them to hand either to melt down or otherwise get rid of at the earliest possible moment. More acceptable coins, such as the Sinope, Amisus and Tarsus issues which would surely still retain their circulating value, he could cheerfully consign to the comparative safety of Mother Earth. In other words, we see before us a typical example of the working out of Gresham's well known law. Thus the absence from the Küchük Köhne hoard of any specimens of Ariarathes' coinages is neither very strange under the circumstances, nor does it in any way invalidate our supposition that the hoard itself was buried at some period in the decade after 333 B.C.

A burial somewhere between the years 325 and 320 B.C. has been indicated on page 11. Not content with this, the further suggestion was hazarded that the burial actually took place in and around the year 322 B.C. in direct consequence of the troublous times accompanying the downfall and death of Ariarathes I in the spring or early summer of that year. This estimate is determined, on the one hand, by their state of preservation and by the presence in the hoard of the Athena staters of Tarsus which stylistic and technical criteria show cannot have been struck before 327 B.C., and probably first appeared circa 325 B.C. On the other hand, the total absence of any coins of Alexander the Great clearly indicates that the hoard could hardly have been put away long after the conquest of Cappadocia by Perdiccas and Eumenes. The immediate consequence of the acquisition of Cappadocia would surely be the introduction therein of coins 45 of Alexandrine types to pay such Macedonian troops as Eumenes retained and to link the new province commercially with the remainder of the empire. After 320 B.C. Alexandrine coins must have become familiar sights along the highroads of commerce and military administration which crossed the province from north to south and from east to west. In 320–19 B.C. the invasion of Cappadocia by Antigonus with a powerful army, his marches and countermarches during his struggle with Eumenes which culminated in the famous siege of Nora, must all have helped to disseminate coins of Alexandrine types far and wide throughout the province. The total absence of any such coins would therefore appear significant and would tend to confine the burial of the hoard to the years before circa 320 B.C. So far as our scanty historical sources allow any conclusion, the years following Ariarathes' acquisition of Tauric Cappadocia and its amalgamation by him with his dominions in Pontic Cappadocia appear to have been entirely peaceful until the day of the Macedonian irruption in 322 B.C. There therefore would seem to be nothing unlikely about our further belief that the Küchük Köhne hoard was buried during, or as an immediate consequence of, the devastating invasion of the country by the Macedonian forces in that year.

The all too brief account of Diodorus, partially supplemented by those of Plutarch and Nepos, does not permit us to follow the strategical details of the actual invasion or to determine the sites of the two battles—in the last one of which over four thousand Cappadocians are said to have perished and Ariarathes, together with his family, fell into the hands of the victors. Emil Reich on map XIV of his Atlas Antiquus indicates, in a general way, his conception of the route from Babylon necessarily followed by Perdiccas' army along the Euphrates, across that river at Zeugma-Apamea, thence following the old highroad that led past Doliche and Antiochia ad Taurum (the later Germanicia) and so into Cappadocia to the important town of Comana. Thereafter the army's marches together with the moves of their Cappadocian opponents are indicated, to be sure, but they must remain, for the present at least, purely suppositional.

From a geographical standpoint the find spot of our hoard does not lack a certain amount of interest. As stated above, the hamlet of Küchük Köhne lies in the immediate vicinity of Köhne. Now Köhne is today—as its predecessor was in antiquity—situated near the crossroads of two very important roads which date back certainly to the Hellenistic period and probably to far earlier times. From Tavium (now Büyük Nefez Köi) a highroad ran (cf. map), and still runs, easterly through Corniaspa (modern Yozgat 46 ) to our Köhne (according to W. Ramsay, followed later by Kiepert, this represents the ancient Aegonne and Eugoni) where it branched into two roads, also of first class importance, the one running thence north-easterly directly to Zela (modern Zile) and


Gaziura (modern Turkhal); the other and more southerly road running from Köhne via the later Sebastopolis (modern Zulu Serai) to Comana Pontica. The important south-north highroad, close to which Küchük Köhne is situated, crossed the west-east road at Köhne. Of this south-north road, according to Dr. von der Osten's personal assurance to the present writer, there still exist everywhere important traces and actual remains. Commencing at Tarsus this highroad ran through the famous "Cilician Gates" to Tyana and thence to Mazaca (the later Caesarea and the modern Kayseri). Continuing thence in a northerly direction it crossed an important branch of the Konak Su at Boghazlajan, then the Konak Su itself either by a ford situated between the modern Kadilli 47 and the former Armenian town of Chat 48 or at Terzili Hamam (the ancient Basilica Therma) and, finally, over still another branch, the Eyghri Özü, 49 at Yazili Tash 50 and thence northwards to Köhne. From Köhne it continued in a generally northerly direction to the modern Çorum where it divided, the western branch running north by west to Sinope (modern Sinop) on the Black Sea, the eastern branch running north by east to Amisus (modern Samsun) also on the Black Sea.

It is most interesting, therefore, to note that our hoard was found in close proximity to a location of great strategic and commercial importance, namely the crossing point of the two most important routes in all this district. Furthermore, the hoard is notable for containing specimens of the coinages of each of the three ultimate termini of the great south-north road. Was its owner a merchant engaged in the carrying trade between these three important centres of commerce, or is it only a pure coincidence that his savings should have comprised issues of these three, and only of these three, mints? Was our hoarder, perhaps, the owner of a much-frequented han where were accustomed to sojourn the traders, merchants and caravans passing along these busy routes with their goods? Who can tell?

In any event, the Küchük Köhne hoard proves to be a most interesting relic from the early beginnings of an independent Cappadocian kingdom. Above all it offers us an indication of just what kinds of money constituted the most acceptable media of exchange in central Anatolia just preceding its invasion by the ubiquitous coinages of the Alexander type.



End Notes

H. H. von der Osten, Explorations in Hittite Asia Minor, 1927–28, p. 37 and, ibid. figs. 31 and 32. Cf. also the same writer's The Alishar Hüyük, Season of 1927, Part I, pp. 36 and 39. On Kiepert's map Küchük Köhne is equated with the ancient Verinopolis.
To Dr. von der Osten the writer here desires to express his appreciation for the permission to publish this important little hoard, as well as for his kind assistance with regard to certain geographical information and details contained in the following pages.
Throughout this article the modern and official Turkish form of spelling for the vilayet capitals is used.
Throughout the present work this will refer to Recueil général des Monnaies Grecques d'Asie Mineure, Tome premier, 2e Édition, Paris, 1925.
The writer's Myriandros—Alexandria kat' Isson in The American Journal of Numismatics, Vol. LIII, Part II.
Tarsos Under Alexander, American Journal of Numismatics, Vol. LII.
This number does not include one specimen described as fourrée and another as percée which latter may or may not be considered to have been actually tested. It should be noted that the compilers of the Recueil, by an oversight, did not describe the coin illustrated on Plate E, 27 as cisaillée, while on the other hand they so described a specimen in the author's collection, although the piece in question is absolutely untouched.
Loc. cit., p. 193*.
Loc. cit., pp. 193*, 200*, 193** ff. and, especially p. 193* footnote 3.
Recueil, etc., 1st Ed., p. 179. This date was also adopted by the second edition of Head's Historia Numorum, p. 508.
Numismatic Chronicle, 1885, Ser. III, Vol. V, pp. 32–38.
See below, p. 24.
Loc. cit., p. 193*, note 3.
British Museum Catalogue, Lycaonia, Isauria and Cilicia, Pl. XXX, nos. 1–8; Babelon, Traité 2, Pl. CXI, nos. 14–20, Pl. CXII, nos. 1–2.
Myriandros—Alexandria kat' Isson, American Journal of Numismatics, Vol. LIII, Part II, pp. 1–15.
Ibid., p. 15. See also Tarscs under Alexander, American Journal of Numismatics, Vol. LII, pp. 72 and 83.
Tarsos etc., in The American Journal of Numismatics, Vol. LII, 1919, pp. 110–15.
Cf. Babelon, Les Perses Achéménides, Paris, 1893, p. xlvi.
The earliest definitely dated issues of Alexander displaying this new scheme (Müller's Class IV) are those struck at Sidon in the year 325–4 B.C. (cf. Newell, The Dated Alexander Coinage of Sidon and Ake, New Haven, 1916, p. 13, no. 26) and at Ake in the year 321 B.C. (ibid., p. 45, no. 24). See also G. F. Hill, Historical Greek Coins, p. 106; L. Müller, Numismatique d'Alexandre le Grand, pp. 6–7; H. v. Fritze, Nomisma IX, 1914, p. 49.
Tarsos, etc., pp. 72 ff.
Ibid., p. 84
Niese, Geschichte der Griechischen und Makedonischen Staaten, pp. 196–7; Ernst Meyer, Die Grenzen der hellenistischen Staaten in Kleinasien, pp. 7–8.
Numismatic Notes and Monographs No. 19, Alexander Hoards II, Demanhur, pp. 81–105.
The Angora Hoard (cf. S. P. Noe, A Bibliography of Greek Coin Hoards, Num. Notes and Mon. No. 25, p. 24) contained several examples of such imitations and an imitated drachm of Alexander was purchased during the excavations at Alishar. It is important to note that this drachm was not based on the Attic weight system but on the Persian, thus showing that the Alexander coinage had not yet secured complete dominance in this district as against the preceding Persic coins of Tarsus and Sinope.
For instance, a hoard unearthed about 1850 near Caesarea contained, among other things, numerous staters of Tarsus (Datames and Mazaeus). Cf. Six, Num. Chron. 3rd Ser. Vol. IV, p. 119.
Recueil, pp. 112–3; British Museum Catalogue, Galatia, etc., p. 29, nos. 1–4.
K. Miller, Itineraria Romana, pp. 678–9.
So Niese, loc. cit., Vol. I, p. 196 and in Pauly-Wissowa, II, pp. 815–6, following Clinton, Fasti Hellen., III, 431 and Six, Num. Chron. 3rd Ser. Vol. IV, 1884, p. 120. The Cambridge Ancient History, Vol. VI, pp. 366 and 369. Berve, Das Alexanderreich, Vol. II, pp. 59–60.
Trois Royaumes d'Asie Mineure, pp. 13 and 27; Mithradates Eupator, Leipzig 1895, pp. 23–4.
Mélanges de Numismatique et de Philologie, 1861, p. 84.
The Sinope type is assigned to 330 B.C. in his Trois Royaumes d'Asie Mineure, p. 28.
Recueil, p. 112.
Pp. 508 and 749.
British Museum Catalogue, Galatia, etc., pp. xxiv and 29.
British Museum Catalogue, Pontus, etc., p. 96.
Traité, II2, p. 434.
Ibid., p. 434.
Num. Chron. 4th Ser., Vol. XX, 1920, p. 12.
Recueil, Pl. XXIV, nos. 23–5.
Zeitschrift für Numismatik, Vol. II, 1875, pp. 316–7.
Among others cf. Reinach, Trois Royaumes d'Asie Mineure, pp. 26 and 28; Babelon, Traité, II2, pp. 430 and 437.
Ibid., pp. 200*, 193**, 194**, nos. 22 and 23. The weights of one piece which is definitely described as fourrée, as well as of three 'sports' weighing only grammes 4.38,4.80 and 4.83 respectively (the results, probably, of damage, corrosion, over-cleaning or possibly some misprint in the text), have not been included. Also there have not been taken into account the weights of the "barbaric" imitations described ibid., pp. 194**–195**, no. 24.
Pp. 54–8, nos. 1–5. The following weights, however, have not been included: gr. 3.23 (cassée), gr. 4.93 (fourrée), gr. 4.71 (barbare), the two very suspicious weights gr. 4.12 and gr. 4.13, as well as two specimens which, because of the unusual character of their inscriptions, are probably barbaric and weigh respectively gr. 4.38 and 4.50.
Pp. 198**–200**, nos. 34–36a inclusive, but omitting the barbaric imitations described under nos. 37–40.
Such coins would naturally have been drawn from the prolific Cilician and southern Asia Minor mints. The presence of a local mint for Alexandrine coins in Cappadocia is as yet unproved.
R. Kiepert, Karte von Kleinasien, B IV, Jozgad. K. Miller, Itineraria Romana, pp. 671–4.
Many classical remains, including inscriptions, are still to be seen in and around this village.
An ancient Hüyük is at this site, see figs. 7 and 8, pp. 16 and 17, also fig. 10, p. 19, Explorations in Hittite Asia Minor, 1927–28, by Dr. H. H. von der Osten.
Misnamed Tshakyrly Öz on Kiepert's map.
Where remains of an ancient bridge are still to be seen.

Plate I



Plate II


Küchük Köhne Hoard


Plate III


Küchük Köhne Hoard


Plate IV


Numismatic Notes, and Monographs

  • Sydney P. Noe. Coin Hoards. 1921. 47 pp. 6 pls. 50c.
  • Howland Wood. The Mexican Revolutionary Coinage. 1913–1916. 1921. 44 pp. 26 pls. $ 2. 00.
  • Agnes Baldwin. Five Roman Gold Medallions. 1921. 103 pp. 8 pls. $1.50.
  • Sydney P. Noe. Medallic Work of A. A. Weinman. 1921. 31 pp. 17 pls. $1.00.
  • Gilbert S. Perez. The Mint of the Philippine Islands. 1921. 8 pp. 4 pls. 50c.
  • David Eugene Smith, LL.D. Computing Jetons. 1921. 70 pp. 25 pls. $1.50.
  • Edward T. Newell. The First Seleucid Coinage of Tyre. 1921. 40 pp. 8 pls. $1.00.
  • Howland Wood. Gold Dollars of 1858. 1922. 7 pp. 2 pls. 50c.
  • R. B. Whitehead. Pre-Mohammedan Coinage of N. W. India. 1922. 56 pp. 15 pls. $2.00.
  • George F. Hill. Attambelos I of Characene. 1922. 12 pp. 3 pls. $1.00.
  • M. P. Vlasto. Taras Oikistes (A Contribution to Tarentine Numismatics). 1922. 234 pp. 13 pls. $3.50.
  • Agnes Baldwin. Six Roman Bronze Medallions. 1923. 39 pp. 6 pls. $1.50.
  • Howland Wood. Tegucigalpa Coinage of 1823. 1923. 16 pp. 2 pls. 50c.
  • Edward T. Newell. Alexander Hoards—II. Demanhur Hoard. 1923. 162 pp. 8 pls. $2.50.
  • Harrold E. Gillingham. Italian Orders of Chivalry and Medals of Honour. 1923. 146 pp. 34 pls. $2.00.
  • Edward T. Newell. Alexander Hoards—III. Andritsaena. 1924. 39 pp. 6 pls. $1.00.
  • C. T. Seltman. A Hoard from Side. 1924. 20 pp. 3 pls. $1.00.
  • R. B. Seager. A Cretan Coin Hoard. 1924. 55 pp. 12 pls. $2.00.
  • Samuel R. Milbank. The Coinage of Aegina. 1925. 66 pp. 5 pls. $2.00.
  • Sydney P. Noe. A Bibliography of Greek Coin Hoards. 1925. 275 pp. $2.50.
  • Edward T. Newell. Mithradates of Parthia and Hyspaosines of Characene. 1925. 18 pp. 2 pls. 50c.
  • Sydney P. Noe. The Mende (Kaliandra) Hoard. 1926. 73 pp. 10 pls. $2.00.
  • Agnes Baldwin. Four Medallions from the Arras Hoard. 1926. 36 pp. 4 pls. $1.50.
  • H. Alexander Parsons. The Earliest Coins of Norway. 1926. 41 pp. 50c.
  • Edward T. Newell. Some Unpublished Coins of Eastern Dynasts. 1926. 21 pp. 2 pls. 50c.
  • Harrold E. Gillingham. Spanish Orders of Chivalry and Decorations of Honour. 1926. 165 pp. 40 pls. $3.00.
  • Sydney P. Noe. The Coinage of Metapontum. 1927 (Part I). 134 pp. 23 pls. $3.00.
  • Edward T. Newell. Two Recent Egyptian Hoards—Delta and Keneh. 1927. 34 pp. 3 pls. $1.00.
  • Edward Rogers. The Second and Third Seleucid Coinage of Tyre. 1927. 33 pp. 4 pls. $1.50.
  • Alfred R. Bellinger. The Anonymous Byzantine Bronze Coinage. 1928. 27 pp. 4 pls. $1.50.
  • Harrold E. Gillingham. Notes on the Decorations and Medals of the French Colonies and Protectorates. 1928. 62 pp. 31 pls. $2.00.
  • Oscar Ravel. The Colts" of Ambracia. 1928. 180 pp. 19 pls. $3.00.
  • Howland Wood. The Coinage of the Mexican Revolutionists. 1928. 53 pp. 15 pls. $2.50.
  • Edward T. Newell. Alexander Hoards. IV. Olym pia. 1929. 31 pp. 9 plates. $1.50.
  • Allen B. West. Fifth and Fourth Century Gold Coins from the Thracian Coast. 1929. 183 pp. 16 plates. $3.00.
  • Gilbert S. Perez. The Leper Colony Currency of Culion. 1929. 10 pp. 3 pls. 50c.
  • Alfred R. Bellinger. Two Hoards of Attic Bronze Coins. 1930. 14 pp. 4 pls. 50c.
  • D. H. Cox. The Caparelli Hoard. 1930. 14 pp. 2 pls. 50c.
  • Geo. F. Hill. On the Coins of Narbonensis with Iberian Inscriptions. 1930. 39 pp. 6 pls. $1.00
  • Bauman L. Beiden. A Mint in New York. 1930. 40 pp. 4 pls. 50c.