Name of Object:

Gold coin (dinar)

Location:

Aqaba, Jordan

Holding Museum:

Aqaba Archaeological Museum

Date of Object:

Hegira 380 / AD 990

Material(s) / Technique(s):

Struck gold.

Dimensions:

Diameter 18 mm, weight 4 g

Period / Dynasty

Fatimid

Provenance:

Al-Mahdiyya, Tunisia.

Description:

A gold coin (dinar) of the fifth Fatimid Caliph al-Aziz (r. AH 365–86 / AD 975–96), struck at al-Mahdiyya in Tunisia in AH 380 / AD 990. The legend is in kufic script.

Obverse:

Centre: raised point within two concentric circles.

First margin: ''.لا اله الا الله، محمد رسول الله، علي خير صفوة الل'

'There is no God except God, Muhammad is the Messenger. Ali is the best God's prime.'

Second margin: محمد رسول الله أرسله بالهدى ودين الحق ليظهره على الدين كله ولو كره المشركون.

'Muhammad is the Messenger of God. He sent him with guidance and the true religion to prevail over all other religions, even though the idolaters may object.'

Reverse:

Centre: raised point within two concentric circles.

First margin: عبد الله ووليه نزار الإمام العزيز بالله أمير المؤمنين.

'Abd Allah and his supporter the Imam Al-'Aziz Billah Commander of the Faithful.'

Second margin: بسم الله ضرب هذا الدينار بالمهدية سنة ثمانون وثلثماية.

'In the name of God, this dinar was struck at al-Mahdiyya in the year 380.' (AD 990).

View Short Description

A gold coin (dinar) from Ayla in Aqaba. On the reverse is the name of the fifth Fatimid Caliph al-Aziz (r. AH 365–86 / AD 975–96), the place of minting, al-Mahdiyya in Tunisia, and the date 380 / 990. Ali is mentioned in addition to the Prophet Muhammad on the obverse. The legend is in kufic script.

How date and origin were established:

The coin is dated and the place of mint recorded: 'In the name of God, this dinar was struck at al-Mahdiyya in Tunisia in the year 380.' (AD 990).

How Object was obtained:

The coin was acquired by the Museum as a result of an archaeological excavation carried out at the site of historic Ayla (Aqaba) in 1993–4.

How provenance was established:

The place of mint is inscribed on the coin as al-Mahdiyya.

Selected bibliography:

Unpublished, but for similar coins see:

Pool, R. S., The Coinage of Egypt: (AH 358–922) under the Fatimee Caliphs, the Ayyobees and the Mamlook Sultan, Classes XIV.XV.XVI, London, 1879, p.17 (year AH 384).

العجابي. حامد، "جامع المسكوكات العربية بإفريقية", تونس،1988، ص 228، قطعة رقم 296، اللوحه 28.

داود. مايسه، "المسكوكات الفاطمية بمجموعة متحف الفن الإسلامي بالقاهرة"، دار الفكر العربي، القاهرة، ص 53-55.

Citation of this web page:

Aida Naghawy "Gold coin (dinar)" in Discover Islamic Art, Museum With No Frontiers, 2017. http://www.discoverislamicart.org/database_item.php?id=object;ISL;jo;Mus01_D;36;en

Prepared by: Aida NaghawyAida Naghawy

Aida Naghawy is an archaeologist and the Director of Jordan Archaeological Museum. She studied archaeology at the University of Jordan where she gained her MA. She was affiliated to the Jordanian Department of Antiquities from 1974 as a curator of Jordan Archaeological Museum. In 1981 she became inspector of Jerash antiquities and co-ordinator of the Jerash International Rehabilitation project. She was also head of the archaeological awareness section at the Department of Antiquities. Aida is the author of numerous publications on Islamic coins. She has carried out excavation work in Jerash and is the founder of Jerash Archaeological Museum and the Islamic Museum of the Ministry of Awqaf and Islamic Affairs.

Copyedited by: Mandi Gomez

MWNF Working Number: JO 76

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