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Blog Posted in avatar   Jonathan Farrell's Blog

Rare coin leads Univ. of Houston professor to lost kingdom

By Jonathan Farrell
Posted Feb 25, 2013 in Science
Ever find a coin on the ground, especially one old and wonder if it might be a collector's item? Coins say a lot about culture and of course history and this is where numismatics steps in. The study of coins is the art and science of numismatics and it is through such that Frank L. Holt, a professor of history at the University of Houston reached the discovery of a life time. From the collection of ancient coins Professor Holt was able to rediscover the ancient civilization of Bactria.
Bactria is located in Afghanistan and unfortunately that part of the world has been scarred by conflict. Why is this find so important? Because it gives witness to human history and to the region's past glory which lately has been eclipsed by war and violence.
At one time, long ago, that area of the world was a center of the Hellenistic world, established by Alexander the Great, in his quest to reach India. Some of the names associated with Bactria are kings like Eucratides The Great, Euthydemus, Mander, Apollodotus, Demetrius and Diodotids. These names would be only side notes to most students of Western Civilization. Yet with each discovery and more attention to detail, more knowledge and understanding is brought to us.
For anyone who likes exploration into archaeology, Professor Holt's new book "Lost World of The Golden King" will amaze and overwhelm.
Like any discovery the road to it has twists and turns and Holt had to investigate much of the coins' history which also required discerning what was accurate info and what was not. Sifting through the layers of history itself is a daunting task, one that archaeologists are getting better at as new technology and techniques make it possible for greater depth of discernment.
Why this reporter wanted to take the time to check this book out was because it is important to remember that all places of the world have risen and fallen over time. And, that at this time of tremendous upheaval in that part of the world, it was a place of power and wealth, eons ago. For when I ponder what distant future will be...Who is to say that perhaps one day, when future people's are sifting through the dust, they might find a coin that reads "In God We Trust." And, then they start to wonder, "where did this come from?"

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