Document Type : Research Paper


1 Ph.D Candidate Archeology, Islamic Azad University of Tehran, Department of Science and Research, Tehran, Iran.

2 Professor of Archaeology, Faculty of Literature and Human Sciences, University of Tehran, Tehran, Iran.

3 Assistant Professor of Archeology at Islamic Azad University of Tehran, Science and Research Department, Tehran, Iran.


The present paper involves the investigation and identification of the insignia of 240 Achamenid shekels, from the collection of the Mazandaran Museum. Investigation of law enforcement indicates that the collection was seized from looters in the Asalooyeh region (ambiguous locality). Subsequent preliminary work suggests these are typical coins of seven kings who reigned for around 184 years between 522 BC to 338 BC. Some 195 coins of the total 240 have signs, mostly with one sign, while rare samples present up to 9 signs. Numismatists and archaeologists have assigned them various functions, including mint sign, finesse, and weight affirmation. Do the definitions include the studied collection? Why do some of the coins have no signs? The investigations led to the discernment of 567 signs, typically from plain to geometrical and zoomorphic ones. There are many signs in the collection that are similar to known samples in many ways, however, there are unique signs unsimilar to any other marks thus far identified, which are not necessarily mint marks, because they are more obvious than the king’s figure that is eroded in most of the cases. Obviously, they are later engravings, whereas, 45 coins lacks any signs. The other conclusion is the transition of concepts of the signs as hidden mysterious messages such as a king death and reign of a new king.  


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