ARABIA, Northwestern. Lihyan (?). Circa 350-250 BC. Drachm (Silver, 11x17 mm, 3.73 g, 3 h), imitating Athens. Stylized head of Athena to right, wearing crested Attic helmet; in front of head, O ('ayin in South Arabian?). Rev. Incuse owl standing right, head facing; to left, uncertain sign or object (head of a ram to right?); to right, m'rb or m'db (in Aramaic); all within incuse square. Heritage, 8-9 March 2012, 20002. Huth 35. Munro-Hay -. Extremely rare and of great interest. Very fine.
Huth tentatively attributes this enigmatic issue to Idumaea or the Kingdom of Lihyan, adding that the female name 'm'rb' or 'm'db' is attested in Nabataean culture. The extraordinary incuse owl on the reverse is vaguely reminiscent of the owls on the 5th century coinage of Tyre, but the Tyreans only placed their convex owls in incuse outlines, whereas this Arabian owl is fully incuse.