[The Agora]

The Mint

Dated to around 400 BC, and identified by furnaces, slag and unstruck coin-blanks. Athens did not use bronze for coinage in the 5th century, but no trace of metals other than bronze or lead have been found here. Possibly it would have made bronze jurors' tickets (pinakia) and lamps before going over to coinage in the 4th century. About 100.000 coins have been found in the Agora - mostly bronze: people took time to look for silver or gold. It is not known where the famous silver "owls" were minted.

A silver 4-drachma piece (tetradrachm) of about 435 BC. It has Athena on the obverse, and on the reverse a Little Owl - her symbol, together with an olive twig and the first three letters of Athens in Greek.
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