Qabala treasures

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Qabala treasures (Azerbaijani: Qəbələ dəfinələri) are monetary treasure troves, unearthed in different years near the remnants of Qabala (Azerbaijan), the capital of Caucasian Albania.

The first trove, unearthed in 1950s, contains the coins of Sassanid ruler Kavadh I (488-531 AD).[1]

The second trove, found in 1964, contains a drachma of Parthian ruler Gotarzes II, as well as denarii of Otho, and coins of the Romans; Vespasian, Trajan and Hadrian[2] and over 150 coins of Sassanid ruler Bahram II (274-291 AD).[1]

In the third trove, found in 1966, seven hundred silver coins (including 170 foreign) were found. Among them are drachmas of Alexander the Great. Parthian rulers Arshak, Mithridates I, Phraates II, Thracian ruler Lisimachos, and Seleucids, all ruled during the 187-129 BC period. Tetradrachms of Greco-Bactrian Kingdom[1] are also found. This trove was hidden in the 120s.[1] Some currency in troves 1-3 circulated in Caucasian Albania in the 3rd-2nd centuries BC.[1]

The fourth trove was hidden in the 1st half of the 11th century and found in 1976. It consists of 53 complete and 1298 crumbled coins, struck during the Ravvadid, Shaddadid and Shirvanshah periods.

In one of the mounds, located two km south-east from Qabala, on the right bank of Qarachay River the trove was dug-over by earth working machinery. This resulted in the coins being scattered over the whole south part of the mound.[2]

The drachmas of Alexander the Great (seven in total) are the earliest coins found.[2] There are also tetradrachms of Antiochus IV, Antiochus VI and Demetrius, and four from Eucratides.[1][2] One tetradrahm was struck by Diodotus I, but also bears the name of Antiochus II.[2]

Some coins have been stolen by local residents.[2]


  1. ^ a b c d e f Azerbaijan Soviet Encyclopedia, vol. 3. Baku. 1979. p. 125.
  2. ^ a b c d e f Бабаев, И.А., Казиев С.М. "Кабалинский клад монет эллинистической эпохи (with images)" (in Russian). Retrieved 2008-02-11.CS1 maint: multiple names: authors list (link)