Eroding volcanic ash columns, Plaza Blanca, northern New Mexico
Coin Depicting King Ousanas
Ethiopia, 4th century
Silver-gilt, 1.2 cm in diameter
The Aksumite Kingdom began to issue coins about AD 270. Silver and bronze coins were issued for local, everyday use, and generally followed the design of Roman coins with a bust portrait of the ruler in profile on one side. Aksumite coins were the first in the ancient world to carry the cross as a symbol of the ruler’s devotion to the Christian religion; Christianity was like introduced to Aksum during Ousanas’ reign.