Alexander the Great Coins Found in Syria
Britain's Culture Secretary Jeremy Hunt, center, looks on as Prime Minister David Cameron speeks during Prime Minister's Questions in the House of Commons, London Wednesday June 13, 2012. Britain???s coalition government is split on whether to back a Conservative minister over the way he dealt with Rupert Murdoch???s News Corp. The British media, including Press Association, say Deputy Prime Minister and Liberal Democrat leader Nick Clegg has asked his lawmakers to abstain on a vote Wednesday afternoon on whether Culture Secretary Jeremy Hunt should be investigated over how he dealt with News Corp. as it was trying to take full control of a satellite broadcaster in which News Corp. already holds a 39 percent stake. (AP Photo/PA Wire) UNITED KINGDOM OUT / PA
Youssef Kanjo, the head of archaeological excavations in the ancient city of Aleppo, said the coins were discovered two weeks ago in northern Syria when a local man was digging the foundations of his new home.
The man handed the coins, that were found in a bonze box, to authorities, Kanjo said in a telephone interview with The Associated Press.
The coins date from the Hellenic period, which ranges from 4th to the 1st centuries B.C. after Macedonian warrior-king Alexander the Great spread Greek culture into Middle East and beyond with his conquests.
Kanjo added that the box contained two groups of coins, 137 "tetra" drachmas (four drachmas) and 115 single drachma coins.
One side of the tetra drachma coins depicts Alexander the Great, while the other side shows the Greek god Zeus sitting on a throne with an eagle perched on his extended arm.
Some of the coins bear the inscription King Alexander in Greek, while others say Alexander or carry the name of King Philip, most likely referring to his father.
After Alexander the Great's conquests, many of the successor kingdoms in the Middle East adopted drachmas as their currency.
"The discovery is extremely important and would be added to our archaeological treasures that date back to the Hellenic era," Kanjo said.
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