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Denomination: Bronze Diobol Date: 375 BCE
Description: Ionia, Ephesos, c. 375 BC. Æ. Female head l. R/ Bee. Green patina.
Ionia (Ancient Greek Ἰωνία or Ἰωνίη) is an ancient region of central coastal Anatolia in present-day Turkey, the region nearest İzmir, which was historically Smyrna. It consisted of the northernmost territories of the Ionian League of Greek settlements. Never a unified state, it was eponymously named after the Ionian tribe who in the Archaic Period (800–480 BC) settled mainly the shores and islands of the Aegean Sea. Ionian states were identified by tradition and by their use of Eastern Greek.
The bee is commonly depicted on silver coins of Ephesus through the fourth century BC, this being a symbol identified with the local production of honey.
Also, the usual symbols of the cults of the Ephesians nature-goddess are the Bee and the Stag. It is noteworthy that the high-priest of the temple of Artemis was called Ηεσσην, ‘the king bee,’ while the virgin priestesses bore the name of Melissae, or Honey-Bees.
The deer on the reverse is associated with Artemis, the goddess of the wilderness, the hunt and wild animals. She was a patron goddess to Ephesus like Athena. She often appears a s a huntress, riding a deer.