No Ketos at Kindya

an obol (0,48 gr) attributed to Kindya? (from Tom Vossen)

Since Kagan&Kritt published „The coinage of Kindya“ (NumChron 1995), tetrobols and fractions depicting the head of the legendary sea monster (called Ketos) and an obscure geometric pattern on the reverse were assigned to Kindya or Kindye, a small Carian town in the gulf of Iasos. This attribution was based more or less on one single letter: on some frations there seems to appear a K right under Ketos head, which indeed could very well point to Kindya as a possible mint.


so far unpublished hemiobol, inscripted AL (from Failla Numismatics)

A reacently occured (Ebay, of course) Hemiobol showing the head of Ketos and a star on the reverse as well now bears a second, cleary readable letter: AOn the basis of the available evidence – the combination AK – it is concluded that it is unlikely that these coins have been minted at Kindya. On the other hand, there’s no suitable mint bearing the initials AK…


Fraction from Phokaia (or Kyzikos?), showing a bearded Ketos

While comparing the iconography of Ketos on other greek art with the so-called Kindya coins, I found and interesting depiction of the sea monster on a rare Phokaian fraction. On this coin, Ketos is depictured wearing a chin beard, not dissimilar in appearance to those goats have. On the basis of this observation I assume the score of the K to be more likely the beard of Ketos. This interpretation leads to a coin legend instead of AK


The Ketos-coins from Kindya – more probably the local currency at Halikarnassos

The inscription in combination with the depiction of a sea creature lead to the conclusion, that the fraction that were hitherto attributed to Kindya were minted at Halikarnassos. No coins bigger than obols were known from the classical period from Halikarnassos until today. A re-attribution of the Ketos-tetrobols and their fractions would would close that unusual gap.


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