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Home ▸ Catalog ▸ |Greek Coins| ▸ |Geographic - All Periods| ▸ |Anatolia| ▸ |Caria| ▸ |Kaunos||View Options:  |  |  | 

Ancient Coins of Kaunos, Caria

Kaunos was a city of ancient Caria and in Anatolia, a few km west of the modern town of Dalyan, Muğla Province, Turkey. The Calbys river (now known as the Dalyan river) was the border between Caria and Lycia. Initially Kaunos was a separate state, then it became a part of Caria, and later still of Lycia. Kaunos was an important sea port, the history of which is supposed to date back till the 10th century B.C. Because of silting of the former Bay of Dalyan (from c. 200 B.C. onwards), Kaunos is now about 8 km from the coast. The city had two ports. The southern port was used from the foundation of the city till roughly the end of the Hellenistic era, after which it became inaccessible due to drying out. The inner or trade port could be closed by chains. The latter was used till the late days of Kaunos, but due to the silting of the delta and the ports, Kaunos had by then long lost its important function as a trade port. After Caria had been captured by Turkish tribes and a serious malaria epidemic in the 15th century A.D., Kaunos was completely abandoned. Outside the official Kaunos archeological site, there are beautiful rock tombs on the Dalyan river.Rock Tombs of Kaunos

Kaunos, Caria, c. 197 - 191 B.C. (or Later 2nd Century)

|Kaunos|, |Kaunos,| |Caria,| |c.| |197| |-| |191| |B.C.| |(or| |Later| |2nd| |Century)||AE| |16|
On the Rosetta Stone, "The Memphis Decree" announces Ptolemy V's rule and ascension to godhood, and describes him as "like Horus." In "A Statue of a Hellenistic King," Journal of Hellenistic Studies, 33 (1913), C. Edgar attributes a statue very similar to the reverse figure to Ptolemy V: "[The statue] stands with right foot drawn back, the toes alone resting on the ground...His head is held erect and his gaze is turned slightly to his right. His shoulders are drawn up a little...[the upper part] unnaturally short in proportion to the lower part of the trunk...[The missing right] forearm was clear of the body. The [missing] left hand was raised and probably rested on a spear." We believe this type is from the among the last issues of Kaunos under Ptolemaic rule, struck after the 13 year old Ptolemy V came of age in 197/6 B.C., perhaps to commemorate his accession, and before he sold the city to the Rhodians for 200 talents of silver in 191 B.C.
GB87087. Bronze AE 16, SNGvA 8103; Lindgren III 425; Imhoof-Blumer KM I, p. 138, 1; BMC Caria -; SNG Cop -; SNG Keckman -; SNG Munchen -, VF, green patina, well centered on a tight flan, a little porous/rough, tiny edge crack, weight 2.166 g, maximum diameter 15.6 mm, die axis 0o, Kaunos (Dalyan, Turkey) mint, c. 197 - 191 B.C. (or later 2nd century); obverse diademed and horned head of Alexander the Great right; reverse youth (Ptolemy V as Horus?) advancing right, nude, long lotus-tipped scepter transverse in left hand, right arm and index finger extended, snake before him coiled around scepter, K-AY (Kaunos) divided high across field, ΣΩ-TAΣ (magistrate) divided across center; very rare; $90.00 (€73.80)

Kaunos, Caria, c. 490 - 470 B.C.

|Kaunos|, |Kaunos,| |Caria,| |c.| |490| |-| |470| |B.C.||stater|
Caria was made a Persian satrapy in 545 B.C. The area rebelled along with Ionia c. 497 B.C. but was subdued by 493 B.C. After Xerxes' defeats, the Persians withdrew from the western Anatolian coast and Kaunos joined the Delian League, founded in 477 B.C. This type, among the earliest from Kaunos, was struck during this tumultuous period or shortly after.

In 387 B.C. Kaunos again fell under Persian rule. It was conquered by Alexander III of Macedon in 334 B.C.

The baetyl, a stone cult object, was found in Kaunos, broken in two parts, in the ruins of a round building near the harbor. Made of limestone, over 4 meters high and 1.5 meters wide, it appears the stone was originally worshiped in the open. The temple was built around it in the 4th century B.C.
SH59841. Silver stater, Konuk 11 (O9/R8); Troxell Winged 6 (same dies), SNG Keckman 810 (same obv die); Asyut 684 (same); BMC Lycaonia p. 95, 3; SNGvA 2344; Rosen 622, VF, weight 11.766 g, maximum diameter 18.7 mm, die axis 180o, Kaunos mint, c. 490 - 470 B.C.; obverse Iris running-kneeling right, open curved wings, arms extended, head turned back left, wearing long chiton and winged shoes, two scrolls curling from top of her head; reverse conical baetyl within a crude square incuse; SOLD

Kaunos, Caria, c. 430 - 410 B.C.

|Kaunos|, |Kaunos,| |Caria,| |c.| |430| |-| |410| |B.C.||stater|
SH46947. Silver stater, Dewing 2359 (same dies); Konuk, "The Early Coinage of Kaunos" in Studies Price 94 (O36/R35); Troxell, "Winged Carians" in Essays Thompson p. 260, 26, VF, worn and rusted dies, weight 11.672 g, maximum diameter 21.2 mm, die axis 0o, Kaunos mint, c. 430 - 410 B.C.; obverse winged female figure running left, caduceus in right, wreath in left; reverse Baetyl? flanked by a bunch of grapes on each side, inverted ∆ above; ex CNG 61, lot: 740, Sep 2002, expressive figure, interesting archaic type; SOLD



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HNO - |Historia| |Numorum| |Online| |Database| -
Imhoof-Blumer, F. Kleinasiatische Münzen. (Vienna, 1901-2).
Konuk, K. "The Early Coinage of Kaunos" in Studies Price, p. 197-223, pl. 47-50.
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Sylloge Nummorum Graecorum, Finland, The Erkki Keckman Collection in the Skopbank, Helsinki, Part 1: Karia. (Helsinki, 1994).
Sylloge Nummorum Graecorum, France, Bibliothèque National, Collection Jean et Marie Delepierre. (Paris, 1983).
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