Sicily, Acragas, Cast Trias

This little bronze ingot originates from the Greek city of Acragas on Sicily. When the piece was cast around the mid-5th century BC, the Greeks in Sicily had been using mined silver coins as day-to-day money for a long time already. The reasons for the introduction of such bronze ingots are not entirely clear. Perhaps the Greek cities wanted to facilitate trade with the pre-Greek population, whose barter system involved bronze objects like axes, spearheads and the like.

This cast cone has the value of a trias, as the four pellets on the base of the coin indicate: one trias equaled a third of the common base unit on Sicily, the litra. Since 1 litra held 12 onkiai, one trias was worth 4 onkiai.