The Beçin Coin Hoard

Nikolaus Schindel
Numismatic Commission, Austrian Academy of Sciences, Vienna, Austria

During excavations conducted by the Institute for Art History of Ege University Izmir in Beçin (near present-day Milas in SW-Turkey), a hoard consisting of almost 50.000 Islamic and 831 European coins was unearthed. Chronologically, it ranges from the early 16th to the early 17th century, consisting mostly of small silver coins (akçes) of the Ottoman sultans Murad III (1574-1595), Mehmed III (1595-1603) and Ahmed I (1603-1617).

So far, this period of Ottoman coinage has received little attention by numismatist apart from the groundbreaking "Akche" volumes by Slobodan Sreckovic. A careful analysis of the coins in the Beçin hoard provides totally new insights into all aspects of Ottoman small silver coinage in the late 16th/early 167th century. The paper will address general numismatics topics such as type sequence, metrology and metal purity, as well as the patterns of minting in mints especially in the Balkan region.