top coin: SICILY, Kamarina. 420-405 BCE. AE tetras, 3.34 gm. Large head of Athena left, wearing crested helmet with wings. Owl standing left, with lizard in talon; KAMA (retrograde) upward in right field; three dots in exergue. Westermark / Jenkins 198 (see FIG. Pl. 35 / 198.24), SNG ANS 1230 Calciati III no. 28/4 (dotted-border type). bottom coin: SICILY, Kamarina. 420-405 BCE. AE tetras, 3.11 gm. Head of Athena right, wearing winged Phrygian helmet; dotted border. KAMA (legend from top to bottom), with owl standing left, lizard in talons; three dots in exergue. Westermark / Jenkins 202, SNG ANS -., Calciati III No. 39. I like lizards. Unfortunately, on ancient coins they are mostly relegated to a minor role such as control mark, or in this instance in the talons of a predator. Kamarina tetrantes (thanks for the proper plural, Doug!) with owl and lizard reverses are readily available in two general obverse types, one with a facing gorgon and one with Athena. My second coin is unusual in that Athena is wearing a Phrygian cap rather than crested helmet. CNG's archives and Wildwinds don't have any Phrygian cap Kamarina specimens and there are only six examples in acsearch. Is the Phrygian cap variety more valuable? It seems to command only a modest premium over the crested Athena type. It is more valuable to me though... I like finding coins that are a bit unusual. I should buy a gorgon facing example to complete the set. Complete... like there is any such thing for a collector of ancient coins. Next I'll want other minor variants . Obligatory map: Adapted from Google Maps History of Kamarina, Cliff Notes version: Established in 599 BCE; rapidly gained wealth; destroyed by jealous Syracusians in 552 BCE; refounded by citizens of Gela in 461 BCE; destroyed by Carthaginians in 405 BCE; refounded by Timoleon 339 BCE; captured by Romans in 258 BCE; completely destroyed by CE 853. RIP, Kamarina. These coins were struck at a time when Kamarina had an alliance with Athens; they may also have been in a period of friendlier relations with Syracuse. I don't know what that may mean with regards to the chosen iconography but will assume the lizard represents an enemy. Which enemy, I don't know. However, since I am a lizard fan, I'm going to pretend that the lizard is not about to become owl chow. They're just two buddies, playing. Yeah, that's it. The owl is Kamarina and the lizard Syracuse. The coins were struck to acknowledge the restored relations and that two natural enemies can be friends. Just an owl and a lizard. Buddies. Playing. CoinTalk member @nathanj485 has a more eloquent and serious theory about the type here, although so far I haven't succeeded in chasing down the original sources for the timeline of the marsh story. Did the oracle-forbidden draining of the marsh set the stage for invasion by Carthaginians, or by Syracusians? I've read differing timelines and didn't find the answer in Strabo.... yet. (Read Nathan's post or Wikipedia for more about the marsh story.) ... Let's see those lizards!