[meteorite-list] Meteorite on Roman coin

From: Bernd Pauli HD <bernd.pauli_at_meteoritecentral.com>
Date: Thu Apr 22 09:43:32 2004
Message-ID: <3B55D0A7.37AB4616_at_lehrer1.rz.uni-karlsruhe.de>

Julien.Courtois inquired:

> Can somebody tell me more about the meteorite depicted on this coin?

> http://cgi.ebay.com/aw-cgi/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&item=1256099348

> according to the seller: "The conical stone, which stood at the center of
> this temple, was found by archeologists a short distance from the temple.
> It has been confirmed as a meteorite"

Hello Julien and List,

Almost the same coin is depicted and described in Burke's famous
out-of-print book - I am sending you a scanned b&w copy of the
coins shown on page 220 in a private mail. The same coins are
also shown in Rolf Bühler's classic book "Meteorite - Urmaterie
aus dem Interplanetaren Raum" (p. 23).

Best wishes,


Now here is what Burke says about the meteorite
venerated on the island of Cyprus:

BURKE J.G. (1986) Cosmic Debris - Meteorites in History,
Chapter 7, Folklore, Myth, and Utility, pp. 220-221:

We made brief reference earlier to the image of Artemis (Diana) at
Ephesus. In the second century B.C. the magnificent temple of Artemis at
Ephesus was named one of the seven wonders of the world. Worshipers paid
homage to the image of Artemis therein, which was said to have fallen
from the sky. According to Wainwright, the omphaloi in the subsidiary
temples of Artemis at Perga, Pogla, and Andeda replaced and represented
the meteorite at Ephesus. Silversmiths at Ephesus made copies of the
stone from precious metals and minerals, and fearing that their craft
was threatened by Christianity, they created trouble during St. Paul's
There were three temples of Aphrodite (Venus) in Asia Minor that were
connected to a meteorite: the first was at Aphaca, a sacred place not
far from Byblos, where the second was located, and the third was at
P a p h o s on the nearby island of C y p r u s. Aphaca was sacred
because Aphrodite Urania fell at the place as "fire from a star."
Aphrodite, both at Byblos and Paphos, was represented by an omphalos
- that is, by an elongated cone within a temple of two columns.


FARRINGTON O.C. (1900) The Worship and Folk-Lore of Meteorites (Journal
of American Folklore 13, pp. 199-212).
WAINWRIGHT G.A. (1930) The Relationship of Amun to Zeus and his
Connexion with Meteorites (Journal of Egyptian Archaeology 16, pp.
WAINWRIGHT G.A. (1935) Amun's Meteorite and Omphaloi (Zeitschrift für
Ägyptische Altertumskunde 71, pp. 41-44).
Received on Wed 18 Jul 2001 02:08:39 PM PDT

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