ARABIA, Southern. Hadhramawt. Circa 1st century BC to 1st century AD. Cast unit (Bronze, 47 mm, 62.80 g, 12 h). Male head with long hair to right; behind, 𐩣 ('m' in South Arabian); before, 𐩬𐩺𐩪 ('syn' in South Arabian). Rev. Eagle standing right with wings spread; to left, 𐩧𐩤𐩦 ('sqr' in South Arabian); to right, 𐩠𐩦𐩺 ('ysh' in South Arabian). CNG 99 (2015), 375 corr. (not unpublished). Huth -. Munro-Hay pl. IX, 257 (as a drawing). SNG ANS -. Of the highest rarity and of great interest. A large and impressive example with clearly readable legends. Very fine.
There has been some debate over the dating of these impressive cast bronzes, with suggestions ranging from the 1st century BC to as late as the 4th century AD. Perhaps they were produced and circulated over a longer period of time, which might also explain the great weight differences in the series, which range from 16.00 to 87.85 g. In addition, no final conclusion over the interpretation of the legends has been reached to date, but it seems clear that 'syn' refers to the moon god sayin (or sin), whereas 'sqr' stands for a Hadrami coin and 'ysh', perhaps, for a personal name (Yashur?).