Sep 11 – 16, 2022
University of Warsaw
Europe/Warsaw timezone

[⊝ not streamed] A group of lead tokens with numeric signs from the Late Hellenistic Athens: functions and authority

Sep 12, 2022, 4:20 PM
Auditorium Maximum - Hall A

Auditorium Maximum - Hall A


Irini Karra (Acropolis Museum)


During the excavation for the construction of the Acropolis Museum, to the immediate southeast of the Acropolis, an important group of lead tokens was found inside a cistern containing debris from a cleanup operation of the area, after Sulla΄s invasion in 86 BC. It consists of 19 tokens, most of which bear an animal design in addition to a numerical sign, which could equally denote obols or numbers for any unit.
This contribution examines the possible functions of these tokens, their relation to Athenian coinage, as well as the authority who could have issued them, as their special characteristics in combination with the specific context in which they were found, suggest that they were used rather as private than administrative devices – a frame of use well attested for Roman tesserae but not yet confirmed for Hellenistic Athens.

Primary author

Irini Karra (Acropolis Museum)

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