Name of Object:

Copper coin (fils)


Amman, Jordan

Holding Museum:

Jordan Archaeological Museum

About Jordan Archaeological Museum, Amman

Date of Object:

Hegira 74–8 / AD 694–8

Museum Inventory Number:


Material(s) / Technique(s):

Cast, stroked copper.


Diameter 18 mm, weight 4.59 g

Period / Dynasty:



Amman, Jordan.


A copper coin (fils) of the standing caliph type from the transitional period (AH 74–7/8 / AD 694–8) that preceded Abd al-Malik's coinage reform of AH 77 / AD 696, and which saw the removal of images, and the issue of a pure Islamic type distinguished by the formula of the faith, the Shahada, and a purely epigraphic style that incorporated Qur'anic verses.

On the obverse is the figure of a standing caliph, he wears a long robe with his right hand on his sword; his head is covered with an Arabic headdress. The marginal legend begins from the top going clockwise, spelling the title and name of the Caliph ‘Abdallah ‘Abd al-Malik commander of the faithful written in simple kufic script.

On the reverse there is a transformed cross, distinguished by its simplified form and globular top, which sits on four steps with a star to the left and the name of the mint (Amman) on the right, which was one of the cities of Jund Demashq (one of the five military and administrative provinces established in the early Islamic period).

The marginal legend is written in inverted kufic script. It starts from the bottom, going clockwise spelling: 'La 'ilaha illa-Allah' ('There is one God; Muhammad is the messenger of God'), which is the second part of the Shahada, written in Arabic.

View Short Description

Copper fils from the Amman Forum, of the ‘standing Caliph type’ from the transitional period that preceded ‘Abd al-Malik’s coinage reform in AH 77 / AD 696. The legend on the obverse is the title and name of ‘Abdallah ‘Abd al-Malik commander of the faithful. On the reverse is the mint name ‘Amman.

How date and origin were established:

This type of coin belongs to the transitional period (74–7/8 / 694–8) which preceded the coinage reform of Abd al-Malik in 77 / 696.

How Object was obtained:

The coin was recovered during the course of an archaeological excavation carried out by the Department of Antiquities in Amman's Forum in three stages, between 1965–7.

How provenance was established:

The coin was recovered from an archaeological excavation in the Forum of Amman, and the name of the mint (Amman) is inscribed on the coin.

Selected bibliography:

الحديدي. عدنان، فلوس نحاسية اموية من عمان، حولية دائرة الاثار الاردنية، المجلد 20، 1975، ص 9-14، لوحة 7 و 8 رقم 11.

القسوس. نايف، نميات نحاسية اموية جديدة من مجموعة خاصة: متحف البنك الاهلي الاردني، عمان، 2004، ص 363، مسكوكة رقم 405.

Walker, J., A Catalogue of the Arab-Byzantine and Post-Reform Umayyad Coins, London, 1956, Vol. II, p.29, cat. no. 96.

Citation of this web page:

Aida Naghawy "Copper coin (fils)" in Discover Islamic Art, Museum With No Frontiers, 2023.;ISL;jo;Mus01;1;en

Prepared by: Aida NaghawyAida Naghawy

Aida Naghawy is an archaeologist and the Director of Jordan Archaeological Museum. She studied archaeology at the University of Jordan where she gained her MA. She was affiliated to the Jordanian Department of Antiquities from 1974 as a curator of Jordan Archaeological Museum. In 1981 she became inspector of Jerash antiquities and co-ordinator of the Jerash International Rehabilitation project. She was also head of the archaeological awareness section at the Department of Antiquities. Aida is the author of numerous publications on Islamic coins. She has carried out excavation work in Jerash and is the founder of Jerash Archaeological Museum and the Islamic Museum of the Ministry of Awqaf and Islamic Affairs.

Copyedited by: Mandi GomezMandi Gomez

Amanda Gomez is a freelance copy-editor and proofreader working in London. She studied Art History and Literature at Essex University (1986–89) and received her MA (Area Studies Africa: Art, Literature, African Thought) from SOAS in 1990. She worked as an editorial assistant for the independent publisher Bellew Publishing (1991–94) and studied at Bookhouse and the London College of Printing on day release. She was publications officer at the Museum of London until 2000 and then took a role at Art Books International, where she worked on projects for independent publishers and arts institutions that included MWNF’s English-language editions of the books series Islamic Art in the Mediterranean. She was part of the editorial team for further MWNF iterations: Discover Islamic Art in the Mediterranean Virtual Museum and the illustrated volume Discover Islamic Art in the Mediterranean.

True to its ethos of connecting people through the arts, MWNF has provided Amanda with valuable opportunities for discovery and learning, increased her editorial experience, and connected her with publishers and institutions all over the world. More recently, the projects she has worked on include MWNF’s Sharing History Virtual Museum and Exhibition series, Vitra Design Museum’s Victor Papanek and Objects of Desire, and Haus der Kulturen der Welt’s online publication 2 or 3 Tigers and its volume Race, Nation, Class.

MWNF Working Number: JO 01


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The Umayyads | Administrative Reforms


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