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Olbia, a Milesian colony in what is now Ukraine, was settled in the late 7th century B.C. and endured for a millennium. At the convergence of two rivers, about 15 miles inland from the Northwest coast of the Black Sea, it was well located for trade. Olbia was a prosperous trading city and major grain supplier when it was visited by Herodotus in the 5th century B.C. By the end of the 3rd century, the town had declined and accepted the hegemony of King Skilurus of Scythia. It flourished under Mithridates Eupator, but was sacked by the Getae under Burebista, abruptly ending its economic prominence. Olbia was restored by Rome, but on a small scale, and incorporated into the province of Lower Moesia. After being burned at least twice during the Gothic Wars, the town was abandoned in the 4th century A.D.
Olbia, Sarmatia, c. 5th Century B.C.
Small cast dolphins were cast in Olbia, beginning 550 - 525 B.C., first as sacrificial objects for worship of Apollo and later as a form of currency.GA96585. Bronze cast dolphin, cf. SNG BM 369 ff., SNG Stancomb 339, SNG Pushkin 21 ff., SNG Cop 69 (all with normal ΘY reverse); 0.828g, 17.4mm long, VF, green patina, earthen encrustations, nose chipped, Olbia (Parutino, Ukraine) mint, c. 5th Century B.C.; obverse dolphin with raised dorsal fin, no tail; reverse YΘ (retrograde ΘY); very rare with retrograde reverse; $110.00 (€101.20)
Olbia, Sarmatia, c. 5th Century B.C.
Small cast dolphins were cast in Olbia, beginning c. 550 - 525 B.C., first as sacrificial objects for worship of Apollo and later as a form of currency. The Hellenic city of Olbia was founded in the 7th century BC by colonists from Miletus. Its harbor was one of the main ports on the Black Sea for the export of cereals, fish, and slaves to Greece, and for the import of Attic goods to Scythia.GA96584. Bronze cast dolphin, SNG BM 373, SNG Pushkin 27, SNG Cop 69, SNG Stancomb 339; 1.662g, 28.4mm long, gVF, earthen encrustation, Olbia (Parutino, Ukraine) mint, c. 5th Century B.C.; obverse dolphin with raised eye and dorsal fin; reverse ΘY; scarce with inscription; $95.00 (€87.40)
Olbia, Sarmatia, c. 550-430 B.C.
This example is one of the largest dolphin types.SH01466. Bronze cast dolphin, cf. SNG Pushkin 15, SGCV I 1684, SNG BM 360 ff., SNG Stancomb 334 ff., SNG Cop 67 ff., VF, weight 2.830 g, maximum diameter 47.9 mm, Olbia (Parutino, Ukraine) mint, c. 550 - 430 B.C.; obverse dolphin with raised spine, dorsal fin and tail; very rare; SOLD
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