On September 24, 1976 an ancient coin was found in my hometown of Heavener, Oklahoma by Wilbert Stewart. Imperfectly round, a little smaller than a quarter, the coin appeared to have a Roman profile and a Greek inscription on the obverse. The reverse showed an eagle holding a thunderbolt, a palm branch, and two inscriptions (Fig 11-1).
Then each occupant of the nearby housing wing was dutifully asked about old lost coins, with no results. The fact that a sidewalk is a now a few feet away and that an asphalt street extends to the edge of the ditch, precludes finding any evidence of an ancient habitation site without major excavations and repairs. The ditch usually contains some water, and the encrusted coin could have washed out of the side of the ditch anywhere along its entire length.
Carefully made drawings and rubbings were sent to both Dr. Barry Fell and Totten in Boston for identification. The coin was later purchased, and it was then mailed to them for confirmation. Totten's report stated, "It is a bronze tetradrachm, originally with a silver wash, now missing. The coin is not a rare specimen. It was struck in Antioch, Syria, 63 A.D."3 According to Fell, "The profile is of Nero, with the Greek inscription on the obverse saying 'Nero Caesar Augustus'."4