Olbia was an Ancient Greek city located along the Black Sea, it was established during the sixth century BC and consisted of many communities. Olbia was heavily involved in trading with Eastern and Central Europe supplying wine, weapons and other goods. The city featured an upper and lower town enclosed by a defensive wall. The upper town included many temples dedicated to different gods, a gymnasium and was the main residential area including the wealthy houses. The lower town comprised of docks and warehouses, now submerged in water. By 320 BC the city fell into a decline after the many invasions from the Scythians and Sarmatians resulting in the Scythian kings taking control. Olbia unusually used proto-money to exchange with other civilisations. Arrowhead money appeared during the sixth century BC however there is controversy as to who really produced the currency. Shortly after the arrowhead proto-money had been in circulation, bronze dolphins, Olbia’s patron deity Apollo, were utilised and continued into the fourth century BC.
Greek Olbia Bronze Arrowhead Proto-Money
A fine Greek bronze coin from Olbia in the shape of an arrowhead. The body features a leaf-shape type with smooth edges and a prominent midrib. Beautiful green patination covers the surface.
Provenance: From a Surrey gentleman's collection (DG), purchased on the London Art Market from an ADA member, formed 1990's onward.
Condition: Excellent condition