JUDAEA. Legio X Fretensis. Sebaste or Aelia Capitolina, circa 81/2-132/5. AE (Bronze, 23 mm, 11.17 g). Laureate head of Doros (?) to right; two countermarks: laureate male head to right within oval incuse and L X F within rectangular incuse. Rev. Blank except for two countermarks: L•X•F above boar standing right above dolphin swimming right; all within rectangular incuse, and galley to right within rectangular incuse. Howgego 117, 733, 291 and 410. Very rare and with unusually clear countermarks. Host coin fine, countermarks very fine.
Most of the identifiable host coins of this interesting countermarked series were struck for Domitian in Sebaste in Samaria in the year 81/2 (not 84/5 as thought by Howgego), whereas the terminus ante quem derives from a countermarked example which was overstruck during the Bar Kohba Revolt in 132/5. From what little can be seen of the undertype on our example, it was probably a pseudo-autonomous issue from Dora in Phoenicia (Meshorer, Dora, 28), dated to 76/7. The countermarks were applied by the Legio X Fretensis, which participated in all major fighting of the First Jewish War, including the destruction of Qumran (68) and the sieges of Jerusalem (70) and Masada (73/4), where remnants of its legionary camp can still be visited today. Howgego suggests that the countermarks were applied in Sebaste or Aelia Capitolina (Jerusalem), perhaps in the years before the latter began striking its own coins under Hadrian.