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Arrow Money

The Scythians were members of a nomadic people of Iranian stock who slowly migrated from Central Asia to the southern shores of the Black Sea ca. 8th & 9th Century B.C. 

Centered on what is now known as the Crimea, the Scythians founded a rich and powerful empire that survived for several centuries before succumbing to the Sarmatians during the 4th century BC to the 2nd century AD.

The Scythian tribes with access to the Black Sea soon learned to trade with the Greek Sea colonies along their common shores.

The idea of money (coins) as a common trade item was new at this time, but the Scythians soon caught on to the idea.  Beginning as early as the 7th Cent. B.C., the talented Scythian smiths began to create bronze arrow head trade money of their ownbased upon the weight of the bronze metal, as well as for their use for hunting small animals and birds.

Presented below are a few typical examples of Scythian proto-money bronze arrow head money.


Scythians. 7th-1st Century BC. 39mm, 3.98g. Tri-blade, Arrow-money
Ref: Nieczitajlo-Mihailov p.19, no.7


Scythians. 5th-1st Century BC. 31mm, 2.68g. Tri-blade, Arrow-money
Ref: Rimini, Mille (1995) 61, no.15


Scythians. 7th-1st Century BC. 25mm, 1.92g. Arrow-money
Ref: Nieczitajlo-Mihailov p.19, no.140


Scythians. 7th-1st Century BC. 36mm, 4.00g. Arrow-money
Ref: Nieczitajlo-Mihailov p.19, no.10



Scythians. 7th-1st Century BC. 25mm, 1.92g. Arrow-money
Ref: Nieczitajlo-Mihailov p.19, no.14