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Author Topic: Why the dramatic change in flan size with KP shekels of Tyre?  (Read 1448 times)

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Offline Nemonater

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Why the dramatic change in flan size with KP shekels of Tyre?
« on: February 15, 2021, 01:58:44 pm »
Has there ever been an explanation (or guess) of why there was a change in the manufacture of the flans on the shekels of Tyre?

The early shekels had large 27-31mm flans, which properly allowed for the size of the die. Later, although the weight remains fairly consistent, the flans become smaller 22-26mm, and allow only a partial strike.

I've included 4 examples, two early and two late, demonstrating the obvious change in size.

Offline Nemonater

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Re: Why the dramatic change in flan size with KP shekels of Tyre?
« Reply #1 on: February 15, 2021, 02:47:58 pm »
A better way to see the difference

Offline DzikiZdeb

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Re: Why the dramatic change in flan size with KP shekels of Tyre?
« Reply #2 on: February 15, 2021, 02:48:14 pm »
KP shekels were struck  from year 108 (RH) in other mint, most likely Jerusalem.

Here is old thread about it: https://www.forumancientcoins.com/board/index.php?topic=70056.0

Offline Nemonater

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Re: Why the dramatic change in flan size with KP shekels of Tyre?
« Reply #3 on: February 15, 2021, 03:02:54 pm »
That would seem to make sense. However, I believe scholars have thoroughly debunked the "Jerusalem mint" theory.

Offline dwarf

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Re: Why the dramatic change in flan size with KP shekels of Tyre?
« Reply #4 on: February 15, 2021, 03:15:32 pm »
Quote
However, I believe scholars have thoroughly debunked the "Jerusalem mint" theory.

Surely they did!
But dealers still like it, as the coins get much better prices

Regards
Klaus

Offline n.igma

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Re: Why the dramatic change in flan size with KP shekels of Tyre?
« Reply #5 on: February 15, 2021, 05:02:16 pm »
Smaller diameter flans require less preparation i.e. they are cheaper to manufacture. This improves the issuing authority's arbitrage between the intrinsic value of the silver in the coin and the higher face value of the coin. So its likely to have been a purely economic decision to cut costs in the mintage.
All historical inquiry is contingent and provisional, and our own prejudices will in due course come under scrutiny by our successors.

Offline Nemonater

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Re: Why the dramatic change in flan size with KP shekels of Tyre?
« Reply #6 on: February 15, 2021, 06:00:35 pm »
A simple and logical conclusion. 

I was examining one of my shekels that I initially thought was an overstrike.  After a closer look, I realized the coin was actually struck on a folded flan.  The last fold hadn't been heated or hammered properly, resulting in a slight separation seen on the reverse

Were these smaller diameter shekels reissued to increase revenue, similar to the pi-style Athens owls?

Offline n.igma

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Re: Why the dramatic change in flan size with KP shekels of Tyre?
« Reply #7 on: February 15, 2021, 07:00:28 pm »
Probably a similar motivation. The Athenian analogy is a good one. And it has been argued that the folded Athenian fabric coins became accepted as the norm, a badge of integrity, so that this mode of flan production became a longer term identifying characteristic (equivalent to a brand in modern parlance) of the mint, trusted by the populace among whom the folded owls circulated.

So it was with the smaller diameter Tyre shekels? Speculatively, I suggest that the mandating of this coin type as payment for temple dues may have reinforced the persistence of the smaller diameter mintage, distinguishing it from the more usual larger diameter tetradrachm coinages of the period and giving it an aura of greater legitimacy, harking back to a previous era.
All historical inquiry is contingent and provisional, and our own prejudices will in due course come under scrutiny by our successors.

Offline Nemonater

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Re: Why the dramatic change in flan size with KP shekels of Tyre?
« Reply #8 on: February 15, 2021, 08:16:48 pm »
Yes, this particular coin is only 23mm, slightly larger than a typical half shekel, but a good weight of 14.31gm.  Very interesting speculation in regard to the aura of greater legitimacy.

Offline Joe Sermarini

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Re: Why the dramatic change in flan size with KP shekels of Tyre?
« Reply #9 on: May 02, 2021, 03:00:07 pm »
That would seem to make sense. However, I believe scholars have thoroughly debunked the "Jerusalem mint" theory.

Please let me know where I can read the convincing work of these scholars.
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Offline dwarf

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Re: Why the dramatic change in flan size with KP shekels of Tyre?
« Reply #10 on: May 02, 2021, 04:04:37 pm »
You may ask the question the other way, too.
Where can you read a convincing work that those shekels of Tyros, marked KP, were minted in Jerusalem ?

This was just a theory of Y. Meshorer.
It is not accepted by the publishers of RPC I, pp 655-656

This is bad from a dealer's point of view (I sold a lot of coins as being minted in Jerusalem), but I cannot follow Meshorers theory any more.

There are some discussions in this form on the subject, e.g. here:
https://www.forumancientcoins.com/board/index.php?topic=70056.0

Regards
Klaus

Offline Joe Sermarini

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Re: Why the dramatic change in flan size with KP shekels of Tyre?
« Reply #11 on: May 02, 2021, 04:51:13 pm »
RPC does not debunk minting in Jerusalem. Yes, they give some reasons they do not accept Meshorer's theory but they also say, ...The picture, if it is correct, of the ending of Tyrian silver coinage production leaves open the hypothesis of a transfer of Tyrian minting to Jerusalem...for the time being, the traditional attribution to Tyre has been accepted...  Not a particularly strong rejection.

I think it is impossible to prove where the physical mint was located, but I do not believe these coins were minted by the same Tyre civic mint that struck the earlier coins.
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Offline Altamura

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Re: Why the dramatic change in flan size with KP shekels of Tyre?
« Reply #12 on: May 02, 2021, 04:51:40 pm »
... Please let me know where I can read the convincing work of these scholars. ...
You find the then current argumentation and literature on several pages in D.T. Ariel & J.-P. Fontanille. The Coins of Herod: A Modern Analysis and Die Classification. Leiden. 2012, pp. 36-42.

Regards

Altamura


 

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