Abi'el coin; H 23.29, L 23.65, TH 5.81 mm; W 17 g
II-I century BCE; Late Iron Age - Préislamique Récente
This copper alloy coin was discovered in al-'Atqiyah/al-Nejd, Oman. It belongs to a peculiar class of coins, named "Abi'el coins", that were spread mainly in the area of the actual UAE and Northern Oman. This coin typology was an imitation of the Alexander the Great coinage: all these coins show, on the obverse, a schematized horned head facing right, that can be identified as Alexander himself or Herakles; on the reverse, a deity seated on a throne. Behind the throne, the name of Abi'el is written in Aramaic. A stone mould used to strike this kind of coins was found in Mleiha (UAE).
Recently, during the excavation of SLP graveyard at Salut, a coin belonging to the Abi'el typology was discovered near one of the graves, possibly having originally been deposited inside it. This gives one more hint about the diffusion of these coins in Central Oman and the relationship between this area with the Gulf region during the Late Iron Age.
(PR, pictures and details from P. A. Youle, "Valorizing the Samad Late Iron Age", in AAE 27: pp.31-71, 2016)