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Silver (Perhaps 10-15% Gold) Celtic Durotridges Tribe (England) Stater Depicting Disintegrated Face (Herakles-Alexander or Apollo) and Horse Between 58 and 45 B.C. in Present-Day Dorset/Wiltshire, England.

OBVERSE DEPICTION: "Disintegrated Face" Abstract Rendition Perhaps of Herakles.

REVERSE DEPICTION: Abstract Rendition of a "Disintegrated" Horse.

ATTRIBUTION: Celtic Durotridges, 58-45 B.C.


Diameter: 18 millimeters.

Weight: 3.19 grams.

Note: Coin is mounted free of charge into your choice of pendant settings, and includes free chain as well (details below or click here ). IMAGES: Coins are difficult to image, especially silver ones. This coin looks just like it is supposed to, a bright silver Roman coin. The images here are made with a scanner. Hopefully you can get a good idea both as to the detail and appearance (tone) of the coin. We're not really thrilled with the image quality, the coin looks much better in hand.

DETAIL: An uncommon and very distinctive electrum (silver and gold) coin known as a "stater" attributable to the English/Celtic Durotridges. Believed to be 10-15% gold content, this specimen was struck between 58 and 45 B.C., about the time of Julius Caesar's "adventure" in the England, and about a century before the Roman Conquest of England. The subject of some debate, the coin is believed to be patterned after an Alexander/Macedonian issues; the head of Apollo or Herakles on the obverse, and a horse on the reverse. However the renditions are done in characteristically abstract Celtic fashion - one of the traits of Celtic artwork which has proven so endearing down through the centuries. From a distance the head of Apollo seems quite plain and obvious, but as you view it closer and closer, the face disintegrates into abstract shapes. Same with the reverse, except it is even more abstract (look for the four legs). Though this specimen is in fine condition, themes quite well preserved, there have been clearer specimens found and offered to the market. One such specimen (which fetched $500.00) which you might a little easier to discern the "disintegrated" face and horse may be viewed here. The Celtic Durotridges occupied all of Dorset and southern Wiltshire in England, home of the prehistoric Stonehenge monument. Besides Stonehenge itself, there is evidence of prehistoric activity with Neolithic long barrows at various sites and a causewayed camp datng from around 3,000 B.C., together with round barrows dating from about 2,000 B.C. By that time period there was also active land cultivation and stock farming in the area, as evidenced by the small rectangular enclosures and finds of domestic animal bones. A ridgeway across Mere Down provided an early-east west route that would have been used throughout prehistory and into historic times. Bronze Age cremations and other finds occur in the area while the Iron Age has left the promontory hill fort on White Sheet Hill. This encloses about 14 acres and finds indicate an economy of agriculture, cattle and sheep in the final centuries B.C. This area would have come under early Roman rule after the conquest of 43 A.D. but it does not seem to have been prosperous enough, or near enough to a cultural and economic centre, to have engendered the building of villas. There have been many Roman finds, including two coin hoards (one from a cemetery still in use), Romano-British burials and jewelry. It would appear that the area has been settled and farmed for at least 5,000 years but it is impossible to know if the occupation was continuous in the earlier millennia.

HISTORY: The Celts were known in the ancient world (as they are today) for their stylized and fantastic plant and animal forms, as well as strong, geometrical, intertwining patterns. Celtic artwork decorated the surfaces of household and ritual vessels, weapons, and body ornaments (jewelry). The principal materials used in the surviving pieces of metalwork, most numerous of the remains, are gold and bronze. Though largely absorbed by the Roman Empire, Celtic art work, especially jewelry, was highly prized both in the Hellenic as well as the Roman world. The Celts were a group of peoples that occupied lands stretching from the British Isles to biblical Gallatia in Asia Minor. Though the Celts left no written history of their own, though it is believed they originated in Southern Russia and by around 2,000 B.C. had reached the British Isles.

The Celts were a loosely confederated group of tribes speaking Indo-European dialects. Armed with iron weapons and mounted on horses, they spread rapidly over Europe, fought the Macedonians, and penetrated into Asia Minor, where they raided Hellenistic centers. The Celts lived in semi-fortified villages, with a tribal organization that became increasingly hierarchical as wealth was acquired. Priests, nobles, artisans, and peasants were clearly distinguished, and the powers of the chief became kinglike. The Celts believed in a demonic universe and relied on the ministry of the priests known as druids. Much Western European folklore is derived from the Celts.

History's first written account of the Celts comes from northern Italy around 400 B.C. The nascent Roman Empire records an encounter between their neighbors, the Etruscans, and a previously unknown group of "barbarians". These peoples had come down from the Alps and displaced the Etruscans from the fertile Po valley. The Romans sent envoys both to the besieged Etruscans as well as to (study and negotiate with) the Celts. The people who made up these various tribes were called "Galli" (Gaullic) by the Romans and "Keltoi" (Celtic) by the Greeks. The Romans eventually betrayed their diplomatic overtures, and the enraged Celts sacked Rome in 390 B.C. and ransomed the city for 1,000 pounds of gold - a humiliating defeat for the early Roman Empire.

Traditional Western (Graeco-Roman) History emphasizes the evolution of Europe from classical Roman and Greek culture. In reality, Europe throughout most of recorded history was dominated by the powerful and culturally diverse Celts. Through the period of classical Greece to first few centuries A.D, most of Europe was under the shadow of the Celts whom still represented a fairly unified culture. From this great culture arose the Germans and many of the cultural forms, ideas, and values of medieval Europe. Not only did medieval Europe look back to the Celtic world as a golden age of Europe, they also lived with social structures and world views that ultimately owe their origin to the Celts as well as to the Romans and Greeks.

The earliest Celts who were major players in the classical world were the Gauls, who controlled an area extending from France to Switzerland. It was the Gauls who sacked Rome and later invaded Greece; it was also the Gauls who migrated to Asia Minor to found their own, independent culture there, that of the Galatians. Through invasion and migration, they spread into Spain and later crossed the Alps into Italy and permanently settled the area south of the Alps which the Romans then named, Cisalpine Gaul. Two Celtic tribes, the Cimbri and the Teutones emigrated east and settled in territory in Germany. The center of Celtic expansion, however, was Gaul, which lay north of the Alps in the region now within the borders of France and Belgium and part of Spain.

Your purchase includes, upon request, mounting of this coin in either pendant style "a" or "b" as shown here. Pendant style "a" is a clear, airtight acrylic capsule designed to afford your ancient coin maximum protection from both impact damage and degradation. It is the most "politically correct" mounting. Style "b" is a bezel wrap mount in either sterling silver or 14kt gold fill. Both pendant styles include a split ring for mounting your pendant onto a silver tone or gold tone chain, also included in the cost of your purchase. Upon request, there are also an almost infinite variety of other pendants which might well suit both you and your ancient coin pendant, and include both sterling silver and solid 14kt gold mountings, including those shown here. As well, upon request, we can also make available a huge variety of chains in lengths from 16 to 30 inches, in metals including sterling silver, 14kt gold fill, and solid 14kt gold. Please note, you must request and specify how you wish your coin mounted, as absent specific instructions to the contrary, the default shipment method is the unmounted coin.

The period of Celtic dominance in Europe began to unravel in the first centuries A.D., with the expansion of Rome, the migrations of the Germans, and later the influx of an Asian immigrant population, the Huns. The Celts were crushed between these forces. By the time Rome fell to Gothic invaders, the Celts had been pushed west and north, to England, Wales and Ireland and later to Scotland and the northern coast of France. Aside from their art work, the Celts were also known for their method of warfare, as depicted in the epic opening scenes of the movie "Gladiator". The Celtic method of warfare was to stand in front of the opposing army and scream and beat their spears and swords against their shields. They would then run headlong into the opposing army and screamed the entire way. This often had the effect of scaring the opposing soldiers who then broke into a run; and fighting a fleeing army has always been relatively easy work.

Throughout history Celtic treasures have been inadvertently discovered by farmers in their fields, uncovered by erosion, and the target of unsystematic searches by treasure seekers. With the introduction of metal detectors and other modern technologies to Eastern Europe in the past three or four decades, an amazing number of new finds are seeing the light of day 2,000 years or more after they were originally hidden by their past owners. And with the liberalization of post-Soviet Eastern Europe, new markets have opened eager to share in these treasures of the ancient world.

SHIPPING: These antiquities come from a number of collections which by and large originated here in Eastern Europe. As well, additional specimens are occasionally acquired from other institutions and dealers, principally in Eastern Europe and the Eastern Mediterranean. All of these artifacts are now in the United States and are available for immediate delivery via U.S. Mail. All purchases are backed by an unlimited guarantee of satisfaction and authenticity. If for any reason you are not entirely satisfied with your purchase, you may return it for a complete and immediate refund of your entire purchase price. A certificate of authenticity (COA) is available upon request.

Our order fulfillment center near Seattle, Washington will ship your purchase within one business day of receipt of your personal check or money order. If you wish to pay electronically, we accept PayPal. However we ask that you PLEASE WAIT before remitting until we have mutually agreed upon method of shipment and shipping charges and you understand our PayPal limitations and. We will ship within one business day of our receipt of your electronic remittance.

A certificate of authenticity (COA) is available upon request. We prefer your personal check or money order over any other form of payment - and we will ship immediately upon receipt of your check (no "holds"). Please see our "ADDITIONAL TERMS OF SALE."