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The region of Gadara, opium producer of the Galilee


More numismatic evidence of the Greco-Roman trade of opium in the Galilee. The above coin from Gadara was minted in 40-39 BC. Note Pompey rebuilt the city in 63 BC as a city of the Decapolis. The first coins show the above motif. The obverse has Tyche, a city god of fortune. The reverse has a grape cluster and a live opium leaf and bulb. From my last post the edges are still serrated which means the bulb is alive! They likely were extracting opium juice from the plant.

From the very start of Roman Gadara, they were advertising trade in grapes and opium. Other contemporary coins from Gadara have a caduceus, the Roman symbol of trade. The above cornucopia would be the vessel for the containment of grape and opium products. Wine and poppies. See the spike on the bottom which could be used to "score or bleed" the bulb for opium. Note Jesus Christ went to this region to cast demons out of people. We clearly now see why.

Opium bulb and leaf separate from grape cluster

Opium Leaf

Opium leaves have great anatomical variety

Opium extraction from bulb

Bulbs come in multiples sizes

1st Photo: Zurqieh V coins


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