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Pierre_Henri

Ancient Greek and Roman coins found in Pondoland (South Africa)

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Pierre_Henri

Pondoland is a geographical area on the mid-east coast of South Africa (Indian Ocean side) of which a part was previously known as the Transkei

 

In 1897, Mr (later Sir) G.F. Hill wrote an interesting article in the The Classical Review (Vol. 11, No. 7 (Oct., 1897), pp. 365-367) regarding an astonishing find made in 1893 of ancient Greek and Roman coins in Pondoland.

 

The coins were found in a calabash (clay pot) 3 meters under a Bantu hut. The finders were digging for some unknown treasure when they stumbled upon the pot which contained the ancient coins.

 

The pot disintegrated when it was excavated due to its age.

 

There were (as far as I can ascertain) 3 ancient Greek coins from the Ptolemaic era and 12 from the Roman era.

 

But here lays the problem

 

There is a 500 years difference in the dates of the Greek vs. the Roman coins.

 

The Roman coins of which were found with the Ptolemaic (Greek) coins are of a very much later date, being all dating from the period of Diocletian (296 AD and later) with the Greek coins being minted 500 years earlier (305 204 BC)

 

How did these coins land in South Africa?

 

I think there was an ancient coin collector on the Grosvenor Shipwreck that stranded on 4 August 1782 on the Pondoland coast?

 

There were also many other shipwrecks that foundered on our east coast in those days, but there is another possibly how these coins landed here -- there is an ancient record of ships passing the southernmost pointed Africa in ancient times (more than a thousand years before Vasco da Gama, Bartolomeu Dias and Jan van Riebeeck rounded the Cape)

 

Could the coins have ended here in those ancient times?

Edited by Pierre_Henri

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