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Coin Detail
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ID:     161481
Type:     Greek
Region:     LUCANIA
City:     Metapontum
Metal:     Silver
Denomination:     Nomos
Struck / Cast:     struck
Date Struck:     BC Circa 540-510
Diameter:     27 mm
Weight:     8.06 g
Die Axis:     12 h
Obverse Legend:     META
Obverse Description:     META on right, barley ear of nine grains ear
Reverse Description:     Incuse barley ear of eight grains
Primary Reference:     Noe 123
Reference2:     HN Italy 1479
Reference3:     SNG ANS -
Photograph Credit:     Classical Numismatic Group
Grade:     EF, attractive light gray tone.
Notes:     Metapontion, originally named Sybaris, was an Achaian colony of very early foundation, though the precise details of its origin are shrouded in uncertainty. Following the destruction of its first foundation by the Samnites, it was refounded, as Metapontion, early in the 7th century BC by settlers under the leadership of Leukippos, who was thereafter revered as the city founder. The great prosperity of the city — attested by the extent of its archaic silver coinage commencing in the mid 6th century BC — was based on agriculture. Situated on the Gulf of Tarentum, Metapontion occupied a plain of extraordinary fertility watered by the rivers Bradanos and Kasuentos. Its standard coin type is an ear of barley, a tribute to the source of Metapontine wealth, and Demeter, the goddess of grain who is the city’s most revered diety. One of the city's most notable claims was that it was the burial-place of Pythagoras who had retired there and perished in a sedition.