In 1937 the present writer published some new South Arabian copper coins, brought back from the Wādī Maifa'at in the Ḥaḍramaut by Miss Freya Stark, on which the Ḥaḍramī moon-god, Sīn, figured for the first time. These pieces, of various sizes and weights, had all the same types and legends. Parts were obliterated or missing, but a composite drawing (fig. 1), based on a comparison of all specimens, shows on the obverse the beardless male head, wearing long ringlets of the moon-god, Sīn, whose name in the South Arabian script is on the right, with the letter (m) of uncertain significance, perhaps the initial of the mint, on the left behind the head. The reverse shows an eagle standing, to right, with open wings, the first occurrence of this representation of the moon-god on coins from this part of the world. To the left downwards is the name [reversed, as are all the legends on this first group, since these particular coins have all been cast from a series of moulds; the join in the mould, for example, is clearly visible on the right-hand side and at the bottom of the coin illustrated], i.e. ŠḲR, about which more will be stated later; to the right, downwards, , i.e. YŠH, a legend which has occasioned some speculation. Professor G. Ryckmans, in a private communication, drew my attention to the numerous examples of triple proper names amongst Sabæan rulers, e.g. Šahar Hilāl Yuhar'im, and suggested that the enigmatic letters on the coins might be the initials of one such. Unfortunately, as A. F. L. Beeston has recently pointed out, triple royal names are not attested at all in Ḥaḍramī. He suggested that the letters should be read upwards, HŠY, i.e. ‘minting (a verb with the causative prefix h) of Šmr Yhr'š’, the latter being the Sabæan king into whose realm the kingdom of the Ḥaḍramaut was assimilated towards the end of the 3rd century A.d. This would agree quite well with the date suggested in the above-mentioned Num. Chron. article (p. 279) from a study of prototypes as being ‘at the earliest the second century A.d.’.
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