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Coins and Medals

Celtic, Sequani Bronze coin

Key data

2nd half 1st century BC

found 1987 in the Deutschritterkapelle, Rittergasse 29, Basle

Bronze, struck

weight 3.83 g

diameter 15.5 mm

Inv. 1987/3.1766.

Description

Following the example of the Greeks and Romans, the Celts produced their own gold, silver and bronze coins. Gradually the imagery on the coins altered to conform to the typically Celtic repertoire. The Celts also evolved new forms. Scholars often suppose that the various inscriptions refer to the name of a prince, for example TVRONOS on the obverse of this coin (not illustrated), inscribed before a left facing head with long hair. The small coin was not large enough to accommodate on the reverse (shown) the rest of the legend, CANTORIX. The image of a horse is surrounded by symbols: an S loop, a star, a rosette of beads and a stylised dagger-sheath. The fact that the surface of the coin has been filled in this way must be an expression of the horror vacui which is a feature of Celtic art. These coins were part of the currency circulating in the Augustan military camp on the site of Basle and, as this find proves, in the civilian settlement attached to it.

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