Тhe coin hoard from Ablanitsa on the Middle Mesta (IGCH 890; CH X 129; ICHB I, p. 4) and the problems of an enigmatic coinage
Keywords:Bronze coins of Strymon / Trident type, Imitative coinage, Andriscus, Barsabas, Coin flan, Middle Mestos/Nestos valley, Overstrikes of coins of Amphipolis, Thessaloniki and Pella, Thracian chieftains
The paper deals with the entire Ablanitsa–1940 coin hoard. This important find is published here in full and different possibilities for the context of minting of the intriguing coinage present in the hoard are discussed. These coins were the result of political and military activity within a very restricted territory, probably being minted in the region of the Middle Mestos/Nestos valley. They often attest overstrikes on coins of Amphipolis, Thessaloniki, and Pella. The relative absence of these coins in finds within the Strymon valley indicates that the traditional identification of the obverse image as head of the river god Strymon is most probably wrong. Thus, if one should insist on identifying this image as a river God, then it should be Mestos/Nestos rather than Strymon. As no clear chronology is available so far, a wide period – from within the reign of Philip V (in beginning of the 2nd century BC) up to early in the rule of Emperor Augustus (not later than 27 BC) – should be considered as a possible historical context. Because of this, all possibilities should be put forward and evaluated in the future depending on each new piece of relevant information that would be acquired. The institution that could have initiated this activity should have appeared in troubled times when the overstrike of thousands of solid bronze coins of internationally recognized value and their use in the markets could have remained for a while.