ArtDaily carries an Associated Press article of 23rd April 2010 (Egypt Finds Hoard of 2,000-Year-Old Bronze Coins) which states that: Archaeologists unearthed 383 bronze coins dating back to King Ptolemy III [...]. The coins were found north of Qarun lake in Fayoum Oasis 50 miles (80 kilometers) southwest of Cairo. [...]The objects will all be displayed in the new Egyptian museum under construction near the pyramids of Giza. The rest of the text is gap-filled by telling the reader what the word "Ptolemaic" means.
The article is accompanied by a photo of "Some of 383 recently-unearthed bronze coins. AP Photo/Supreme Council of Antiquities". What is odd about this, apart from the way these finds have been stacked in a finds tray rather than being bagged by position in the hoard, is that the coins are all the same, and... fake. This is a box of tourist fakes.
So has the Supreme Council of Antiquities made a supreme idiot of itself, demonstrating that "archaeologists do not know anything about coins"? That is what the coineys over on Moneta-L believe. The most charitable suggestion over there was that fakers had buried a hoard to get a "realistic patina" and the hapless and ignorant archaeologists did not recognise it was a modern hole and thought they were dealing with authentic ancient coins.
Another explanation becomes much more likely when we look at a second article published by the Associated Press a day earlier (Hoard of 2,000-Year-Old Bronze Coins Found in Desert Oasis, Fox News, 22 April 2010) , also accompanied by a photo captioned "Some of the 383 recently unearthed bronze coins, [...] AP Photo/Supreme Council of Antiquities". These also show cast fakes of Ptolemaic coins, this time imitations of coins bearing the portrait of Arsinoe, the wife of Ptolemy II, and quite different from the homogeneous array of coins shown in the other photo also purporting to be photos of the coins from this hoard supplied by the Supreme Council of Antiquities.
The article seems to be illustrated with stock photos of "some" ptolemaic coins (or what the people supplying them said were ptolemaic coins). I doubt whether they really were suupplied by the Egyptian SCA, and it is quite clear that those putting the articles on the internet have no idea what the coins from this hoard look like, they merely wanted to fill in a space on the page with some pictures of coins.
Anyway that is 238 ptolemiac coins dug up that will be kept together as a group and will be available for study by real numismatists in the future instead of being scattered by the indiscriminate market with all the fakes bought as authentic to geegaw collections in Wisconsin sitting rooms.
Photo 1: "Some of 383 recently-unearthed bronze coins. AP Photo/Supreme Council of Antiquities". Photo 2: "Some of the 383 recently unearthed bronze coins, [...] AP Photo/Supreme Council of Antiquities".