It was around this time that the Parians began minting their own coinage, these small, thick drachms featuring a gorgoneion. A gorgoneion was a type of protective amulet displaying the head of a gorgon. It was used most famously by Zeus and Athena, and it was often found on the shields of Greek soldiers. It's not clear why the Parians chose to put a gorgonion on their coinage, but it remained a trademark of their issues until Troas came under Roman rule. For those of you new to ancient coins, these drachms were struck in the archaic style, using a square rod to punch the flans into the anvil die. The ends of the punches were cut in geometrical shapes which created a pattern on the reverse known as a cruciform incuse square. (There are varieties of these patterns.) But by the end of the 5th century BC, the coinage of most of the Greek world had evolved to include fully-realized reverse devices, often as artistic as the obverse designs, so Parion's first independent coinage was a throwback to earlier techniques. In fact, these drachms, although smaller, have the feel and fabric of Achaemenid sigloi, which the Parians would have been familiar with during the rule of Darius I. Perhaps the same minters that made the sigloi in Mysia made these coins, and perhaps some of the sigloi were even melted down to make the flans - we may never know. They aren't the most beautiful coins in the world, to be sure, but they are an important part of the transition from Archaic to Classical minting. They were hastily produced in large quantities, probably owing to the needs of a burgeoning post-occupation economy. As such, many are weakly-struck and heavily circulated. I recently acquired a handful of better-than-average pieces with nice surfaces... These chunky little blobs are colloquially called drachms, but they typically weigh in between 3 and 3.5 grams, so some authors refer to them as 3/4 drachms, according to the Attic standard. Finally, our forum friend @Ed Snible has an excellent page on the coinage of Parion here: The Gorgons of Parion. Don't miss it! - Whenever I read anything of Ed's, I always feel smarter. Post 'em if you got 'em.