CM: Located on the west coast of Asia Minor, Ephesus was a rival port and harbor to Miletus. Ephesos had been founded by Ionian colonists and was captured by Croesus, King of Lydia, who was largely responsible for the construction of a great temple to the goddess Artemis there. The Greek goddess Artemis is to be identified with an old Asiatic nature goddess indigenous to the area. The usual symbols of the cult of Artemis are as much the stag as the bee, hence their presence on Ephesian coinage. Interestingly, the high priest of the cult was called 'Esshn', meaning King Bee and the virgin priestesses of Artemis were called 'Melissae' or Honey Bees.
The type of bee represented on the obverse of this archaic coin is of high craftmanship and comes to contrast with the quadripartite incuse square on the obverse. The Numismatic Museum of Athens believes this coin to be a modern imitation of an Ephesian drachm owing to its patina, which seems to be artificial and applied in modern times.
[Megakles Rogakos 08/2007]
KARWIESE, STEFAN Die Münzprägung von Ephesos I 1995 Vienna, Series VI