ATTIC TETRADRACHM OF THE ARCHAIC PERIOD
On the occasion of International Museum Day, the Acropolis Museum launches the minting of commemorative coins, so as to acquaint visitors with small but beloved objects in its collection. The first of these features the head of Athena as depicted on a tetradrachm from the Acropolis coin hoard.
The Attic tetradrachm with Athena and the owl (= γλαυξ) was a hard currency which dominated Mediterranean markets for almost 500 years. The first “glaukes” (“owls”), as they were called, were minted at the end of the 6th century BC during the first years of democracy. The head of Athena has formidable characteristics; her large eyes are particularly well-defined, as are those of the owl. The tetradrachm from the Acropolis dates to before the destruction of 480 BC. On coins which were minted after September of that same year, Athena’s helmet is crowned with an olive wreath in commemoration of the victorious naval battle at Salamis.