How do we determine the age of occupation in the Area 9 monastery?
1. Radiocarbon dates obtained from human bone samples.
2. Absolute dates from copper and bronze coins.
3. Stylistic dating of clay oil lamps.
4. Stylistic dating of pottery sherds.
5. Stylistic dating of glass oil lamps.
Twelve silver coins were found buried in a hoard in the south courtyard of the Area 9 monastery. The coins were found near the cache of clay oil lamps, arrowheads and the iron sword. All of these items appear to have been hidden before the looting of the monastery.

The most recent coin in the hoard with a clear date is a silver dirhem of Abbasid Caliph al-Mu'tasim minted in Asbahan during AH 225/AD 839. The identification of this coin was made by Muhammad Kholi, retired curator of Islamic Art in the Damascus Museum.



The silver coins in the Area 9 hoard were not local issues but originated from distant mints in modern Iran, Iraq and Saudi Arabia. One silver dirhem was minted during the reign of Abbasid Caliph Al Mahdi at al Yamama (modern Riyadh, Saudi Arabia) during the year AH 168/AD 784. The identification of this coin was made by Muhammad Kholi, retired curator of Islamic Art in the Damascus Museum.


The silver coins in the Area 9 hoard included examples of Umayyad coins. One silver dirhem was minted during the reign of Umayyad Caliph Hisham ibn Abdul al Malik at al Wasit (Iraq) during the year AH 121/AD 738. The identification of this coin was made by Muhammad Kholi, retired curator of Islamic Art in the Damascus Museum.


The silver coins in the Area 9 hoard included examples of Abbasid coins. Obverse of a silver dirhem of Al-Mansur minted in al-Kufa (Iraq) during the year AH 147/AD xx. The identification of this coin was made by Muhammad Kholi, retired curator of Islamic Art in the Damascus Museum.


The silver coins in the Area 9 hoard included a single example of an Arab-Sasanian issue from the Persian mint of Bishabur. The silver dirhem was minted during the reign of Caliph Uthman during the year AH 28/AD 648. The identification of this coin was made by Muhammad Kholi, retired curator of Islamic Art in the Damascus Museum. The coin was "holed" (pierced) in antiquity.




Uncleaned coins associated with Area 9.

Last updated 2 November 2011.