LYCIA. Phaselis. Ca. AR Starter (22mm, 10.32 gm, 6h). Prow of war galley right, on foredeck a fighting platform decorated with Pegasus flying right; before ram prow, owl flying upward left, spread wings at opposite angles; below, dolphin leaping right above waves / Galley stern left; tripod on deck, ΦAΣ above, dolphin leaping right below. Heipp-Tamer Series 6, Extremely RARE unlisted variety. A highly complex and intriguing design, known from only a handful of examples from the recent group of Phaselis staters. Likely the finest surviving specimen of this ultra-rare type. Absolutely stunning example.
Lycia was a geopolitical region in Anatolia on what is now the southern coast of Turkey. Known to history since the records of ancient Egypt and the Hittite Empire in the Late Bronze Age, it was populated by speakers of the Luwian language group. Written records began to be inscribed in stone in the Lycian language after Lycia's involuntary incorporation into the Achaemenid Empire in the Iron Age. At that time (546 BC) the Luwian speakers were decimated, and Lycia received an influx of Persian speakers.