Description:These coins were minted in the ancient Greek colonies of Thracian Cherronesos, located on a strategic peninsula along shipping routes in the northern Aegean Sea, which is present day Gallipoli in Turkey. Settlers from Ancient Greece founded 12 cities on the peninsula in the 7th century BC. However, in 560 BC, the Athenian statesman Miltiades the Elder took authority over the entire peninsula, building up its defenses against incursions from the mainland. By the 4th century BC, Thracian Cherronesos became the focus of a bitter territorial dispute between Athens and King Philip II of Macedon. The peninsula was eventually ceded to Philip in 338 BC.
The silver lion hemidrachm coins of Cherronesos were an important currency during the Greek Classical period, used in trade with cities along the coast of the Black Sea. The obverse of these coins depict the forepart of a lion, bounding to the right and reverting his head to look back. The lion was not indigenous to Greek lands, however the lion was still a popular beast renowned for its power and hunting prowess. Lions have been depicted in Greek art for centuries before coins were minted. The reverse of these coins are unique as of the four squares, two are raised and two are sunken. These incuse squares were used on the early Greek coinage to hold the coin in place for the hammer strike on the obverse.