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Eight Rayed Star From Uranopolis

 
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 Posted 02/23/2021  10:02 am Show Profile   Bookmark this topic Add Novicius to your friends list Get a Link to this Message
Another coin with a bit of mystery regarding the fate of the town/city of minting.

Uranopolis is said to have been founded in 315 B.C. by Alexarchos, brother of Kassander, the king of Macedonia, and is located at the edge of the third peninsula of Halkidiki. In ancient times, it was called Ouranopolis (meaning the town of the sky), and it developed as a trade centre.

Very little is actually known about this ancient town in the kingdom of Thrace, which gave it's name to the present day town. It was important enough though to have struck it's own coinage. The bronze coins depict an eight rayed star representing the sun on the obverse, and Aphrodite Urania seated, holding a long filleted sceptre surmounted by a ring on the reverse. Next to the sceptre there is a conical object surmounted by a star. The representations on the coins indicate the existence of some sort of pagan cult which honoured Aphrodite, the goddess of love.

As far as is known ancient Ouranopolis did not survive for very long, and there is no apparent record of what became of the town. In 1954 a Swedish underwater expedition discovered what they believed to be the remains of a town, stretching westwards from the foot of the tower in present day Ouranoupolis towards the islands. They are said to have found the walls of houses alongside roads, a bridge and a fireplace. When they dug into the sand which covered the fireplace they found charcoals and ashes. Although this detail cannot be confirmed, there are certainly substantial walls under the sea in front of Ouranoupolis.

Macedon, Uranopolis, ca. 300 BC.
Obverse: Eight-rayed star representing the sun. Reverse: OYΡANIΔΩ-ΠOΛEΩΣ, Aphrodite Urania seated left on globe (Celestial Sphere), head facing, holding long sceptre. Bronze. Diameter: 16 mm. Weight: 2.08 gr.
Moushmov 6909; AMNG III-2, 3; SNG ANS 914-918; BMC 2-4; Sear SG 1475.
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 Posted 02/23/2021  5:18 pm  Show Profile   Check echizento's eBay Listings Bookmark this reply Add echizento to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
Very interesting history about the area. Nice addition to your collection.
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 Posted 02/23/2021  7:42 pm  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add Bob L to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
Sounds like a pretty obscure location. Can't imagine that much of their material culture has survived. Perhaps they'd be lost to history if not for the coinage. Neat pickup.
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 Posted 02/24/2021  10:29 am  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add Novicius to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
Thanks Echizento and Bob.

Yes, it is rather sobering to think that apart from the coinage, there is virtually nothing known about so many of these ancient towns and cities.

Jim
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Cyprus
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 Posted Yesterday   4:28 pm  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add micha to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
Great coin and article Novicius!

Some extra info:

The current village Ouranoupolis, was built on the site of an ancient city. The latter was founded in 315 BC. by Alexander, who was the brother of Cassander. He built Ouranoupolis on the ruins of ancient Sani, which had been destroyed by Philip II. This is the same city (Akrothoi) of the ancient geographers. On the coins that have been found are written the words "Heavenly City" and "Uranian City" in the form of the goddess Urania Aphrodite.
(from Greek Wiki)

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