Zeugitana. Carthage. c. 241-238 BC

Zeugitana. Carthage. c. 241-238 BC


AR Shekel, 7.84g (22mm, 12h). Head of Hercules left / Lion walking right; ethnic above.

Pedigree: Purchased from Münzhandlung Ritter, Düsseldorf prior to 2001

References: SNG Cop 242. Müller I 131.351

Grade: Obverse struck from worn dies. Reverse sharp with exception of front leg which has a striking error and is flat. VF+ (gk1260)

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Carthage did not actually start striking their own coins until they were under fire by the invading Greeks in c. 410 BC.  The original Carthaginian types deeply reflect the style of the great Sicilian die engravers and aside from the starkly Punic elements such as the horse or palm tree they bear a striking resemblance to their adversaries.  The first pieces struck for Carthage were likely made in Sicily and brought to Carthage to help pay their troops for their service. Only 100 years later did the coinage start to be exclusively produced in the northern African territory.

This coin, which was struck much later in their history, reflects a far more Carthaginian style with Herakles suggestive of the area and a lion on the reverse.