Chapter

A Treasure

Frank L. Holt

in Alexander the Great and the Mystery of the Elephant Medallions

Published by University of California Press

Published in print November 2003 | ISBN: 9780520238817
Published online March 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780520938786 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1525/california/9780520238817.003.0002
A Treasure

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The Oxus had a potent influence on the imaginations of men in the nineteenth century. It was rumored that rich deposits of gold lay unmolested along its banks, and that the actual descendants of Alexander the Great lived near its upper reaches. Russian archaeologists argue that the Oxus Treasure was buried in ancient times by the priests of a Zoroastrian temple located nearby at a place now called Takht-i Sangin (“The Throne of Stone”). It is shown that Franks indeed purchased the medallion during the buying frenzy set off by the Oxus Treasure, and that it was reported (or assumed) by him to have come from the hoard. In precisely the period when the Oxus Treasure came to light, a Bactrian coin was found that proved that one of Eucratides' contemporaries—the rival king Agathocles—had paid homage to Alexander by putting the hero's portrait on silver coins.

Keywords: Oxus Treasure; The Throne of Stone; Alexander the Great; Zoroastrian temple; Bactrian coin; Eucratides

Chapter.  8027 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Greek and Roman Archaeology

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