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A Bronze Olpe from the Myrmekion Hoard

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image of Ancient Civilizations from Scythia to Siberia

A bronze olpe in which a hoard of cyzicenes was found in 2003 in Myrmekion is discussed. The vessel belongs to a group of bi-conical bronze olpai singled out by Thomas Weber as Type III. B and should be dated to the first half, or possibly the second quarter, of the 5th century BC (the hoard in the olpe was hidden in the second quarter of the 4th century BC). Further the hoards of coins in bronze olpai and hoards of cyzicenes in bronze vessels are discussed, including the find of 1989 during excavations at Vaste in Messapia of a similar bronze olpe, where the core of the hoard consisted of coins minted in Tarentum between 272 and 235 BC. It is highly likely that certain similarities with regard to the long gaps between the concealment of the hoards in the bronze olpai and the date of the manufacture of the actual vessels mean that in both cases the hoards can be linked with temple treasuries, in which olpai figured prominently.


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