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Iraq: Restoration of Babylon series, 1982

Started by <k>, December 25, 2013, 05:40:03 PM

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<k>

According to Wikipedia: "In 1983 Saddam Hussein started rebuilding the city of Babylon on top of the old ruins. Because of this, artifacts and other finds may well be under the city by now. He invested in both restoration and new construction."

So it looks as though he made a bad job of it and probably never finished it. However, before the project began, a one year coin series was issued, dated 1982, with the theme of "The Restoration of Babylon".

The set was produced by the Royal Mint, who told me:

"All the models for these coins were developed by Robert Elderton. The information that we have available also indicates that the designs may well have been prepared in Iraq, the paperwork showing that photographs of the designs were supplied to the Mint so that they could be modelled."

 
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See: The Royal Mint Museum.

<k>

#1


The ruins of the Ishtar Gate in 1931.







The reverse of the 5 fils depicts a side view of the Ishar Gate. Ishtar was the Babylonian goddess of love and war.
 
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See: The Royal Mint Museum.

<k>

#2


The Ishtar Gate also appears on the reverse of the 10 fils.






The modern reconstruction of the Ishtar Gate.

 
Visit the website of The Royal Mint Museum.

See: The Royal Mint Museum.

<k>

#3
A lion, symbol of the goddess Ishtar, is featured on the 25 fils.

Detail from the Ishtar Gate.
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See: The Royal Mint Museum.

<k>

#4
Detail from the Ishtar Gate.

The 50 fils shows an aurochs, a symbol of the storm god Adad.
Visit the website of The Royal Mint Museum.

See: The Royal Mint Museum.

<k>

#5
Images:

1] The stele of Hammurabi's code of laws, held in the Louvre Museum.

2] Detail from the upper part of the stele.

3] Hammurabi, the sixth king of Babylon, receiving his royal insignia (symbols of authority) from the sun god Shamash, on the reverse of the 250 fils.
Visit the website of The Royal Mint Museum.

See: The Royal Mint Museum.

<k>

#6
A closer look at the reverse of the 250 fils.
Visit the website of The Royal Mint Museum.

See: The Royal Mint Museum.

<k>

#7


The statue of the lion of Babylon.






The reverse of the 500 fils depicts the statue of the lion of Babylon.

 
Visit the website of The Royal Mint Museum.

See: The Royal Mint Museum.

<k>

#8


A closer look at the reverse of the 500 fils.

 
Visit the website of The Royal Mint Museum.

See: The Royal Mint Museum.

<k>

#9


The reverse of the 1 dinar coins features the Etemenanki ("temple of the foundation of heaven and earth"), a ziggurat dedicated to Marduk in the city of Babylon of the 6th century BCE Neo-Babylonian dynasty. Originally seven stories in height, little remains of it now except ruins.

 
Visit the website of The Royal Mint Museum.

See: The Royal Mint Museum.

<k>

Does anybody know whether these coins ever circulated?
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gerard974

hello
I think that the coins are circulated because i have the set and not all are UNC
Gerard

Figleaf

If I remember correctly they didn't. The series was sold over face value and contained denominations no longer in circulation.

I enjoyed the pics with the coins, but wonder (typical coin collector) why the lions (?) on the 5 fils look the other way...

Peter
An unidentified coin is a piece of metal. An identified coin is a piece of history.

<k>

I see your point. A bit of artistic license, I suppose.
Visit the website of The Royal Mint Museum.

See: The Royal Mint Museum.

chrisild