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Old 06-13-2011, 09:55 AM   #27
WilliamBoyd8's Avatar
Join Date: Jan 2009
Location: Northern California
Posts: 771
Indy's Roman Coin Identified - Nero Sestertius

I believe that I was able to identify the Roman coin in the DVD introduction.
The introduction displays a box full of souvenirs, including some coins.

The coin appears to be a Nero Sestertius with the "Roma Seated" design.
The 1st century emperors Galba, Vespasian, and Titus also issued this type.
It may be a modern replica as the box coin appears to be smaller than a sestertius.

The design shows "Roma" personified as a woman in armor, seated, next to a shield.
The word "ROMA" appears at the bottom of the coin.

The DVD coin, taken from a larger image of the DVD introduction:

A Nero sestertius:

Ancient coin dies were cut by hand and the images for the same coin type
could vary from artist to artist, so the coin would not be an exact match.

Since only the reverse side of the coin is visible, it is not possible
to tell which emperor issued the coin, but Galba, Vespasian, and Titus
issued only one or two types and Nero issued many, so it is probably Nero.

The "Roma Seated" design has been used many times over the years,
it appeared on the reverse of the pre-decimal British pennies.

A real Nero Sestertius of this type in good condition is an expensive coin,
reputable coin dealers sell them for at $1000 and sometimes much more.
Worn and corroded examples are cheaper.

There are many replicas for sale much cheaper, and I suspect that the coin
in the box is a replica, as who would want to subject a rare coin to damage
from items moving around in a box.

Nero is a much more well-known emperor than the other three,
and would appeal more to Indiana Jones, as well as the prop man.

I watched the episode "Attack of the Hawkmen" recently, Indy sets fire
to a German aircraft factory, Nero liked fires too.


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