- Available in Proof Fine Silver with an Issue Limit of 2,000
- Available in Proof Fine Silver Goldclad® Colored with a Mintage of only 500
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Pobjoy Mint announces the second coin in the new series issued on behalf of Sierra Leone commemorating 250 years since the birth of British Egyptologist Dr. Thomas Young. The series will feature four Egyptian Gods with the second coin depicting the god Osiris.
Hieroglyphs were used by Egyptians for thousands of years but, following the conquest of Egypt by Alexander the Great and the imposition of Hellenistic rule, the script gradually ceased to be used. Roman and Greek authors, who could not read hieroglyphs, believed them to be symbolic and not phonetic – a belief that went unquestioned and effectively hampered decipherment for centuries.
The breakthrough came with the discovery of the Rosetta Stone. The stone records a decree given by Ptolemy V in 196 BCE and is, crucially, written in three languages: hieroglyphs, demotic and ancient Greek. By 1814, Dr. Thomas Young had completely translated the “enchorial” text of the Rosetta Stone using a list with 86 demotic words, and then studied the hieroglyphic alphabet.
The translation of hieroglyphs allowed for the world to understand many of ancient Egypt’s mysteries and myths – including the ancient Egyptian religion, which centered on Egyptians’ interactions with deities believed to be present in, and in control of, the world.
Osiris is the Egyptian Lord of the Underworld and Judge of the Dead, brother-husband to Isis (featured on the first coin in the series), and one of the most important gods of ancient Egypt. As well as being a god of the dead, Osiris was a god of resurrection and fertility. In fact, the ancient Egyptians believed that Osiris gave them the gift of barley, one of their most important crops.
He was usually portrayed as a mummified man wearing a white cone-like headdress with feathers and with his arms crossed on his breast, one hand holding a crook, the other a flail.
The coin design features an image of the Egyptian god Osiris with his name in hieroglyphics appearing in a square. The design in the background features typical Egyptian decoration with hieroglyphics. The obverse of this coin features the Coat of Arms of Sierra Leone.
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