Southern Italy, Lucania, Metapontum, Nomos

This early coin from Metapontum was minted in the incuse technique typical for Magna Graecia: the image was elevated on the obverse, but recessed (incuse) on the reverse.

Although the depictions on the obverse and the reverse seem the same, they were struck with different dies. This was a challenge not only for the diesinker, but also for the minter, because the two dies had to be exactly congruent with each other – not an easy task, for while the lower die was embedded in the anvil, the upper die was movable and had to be placed on the planchet by hand. Then, the minter struck the upper die fiercely with his hammer. The skills of the ancient coiners remain unmatched!