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Silver Tetradrachm ca. 449&endash;410 BC Athens
The head of Athena is on the obverse, an owl with olive branch on the reverse. The goddess (in Greek, Athena) is a punning reference to the city (in Greek, Athenai) that honored her as its chief protective deity. The owl was Athena's favorite bird and the olive, which was one of the city's most lucrative exports, came in time to stand for Athens throughout the Mediterranean world. Dia. 24.0 mm.
Top: Photo courtesy Registrar's Office, Univ. of Pennsylvania Museum. Bottom: Photo courtesy Donald White.

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