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Ephesos, Ionia (Turkey)
Ephesos, a city of great numismatic tradition, continued to strike cistophoric tetradrachms from Augustus to Claudius. During his bid for the throne, Vespasian opened the mint for denarii (rare) and aurei (extremely rare) production from 70 to 74 A.D. Mintmarks: EPHE.
|The image on the reverse resembles sculptures of Artemis, the Lady of Ephesus, including one at the Ephesus Archaeological Museum and another at the Vatican. The Ionians worshiped Artemis as a mother goddess, akin to the Phrygian Cybele. Her cult image was adorned with multiple rounded breast like protuberances on her chest. They have been variously interpreted as accessory breasts, eggs, grapes, acorns, or even bull testes. Excavation at the site of the Artemision in 1987/8 found a multitude of tear-shaped amber beads that once adorned the ancient wooden xoanon.|