Minted in Egypt and Yemen Ottoman coins discovered in the United States

I found historical Ottoman coins that were minted in Yemen and Egypt 3 centuries ago
The coins were looted by pirates in the Red Sea, and they were later transported to the United States
Coins highlight the history of piracy activities carried out by European colonialists in the Red Sea
Currencies make us pause to think about what the nature of the first American presence in the Middle East was

Jim Bailey, a historical coin hunter residing in the state of “Rhode Island” on the east coast of the United States, said that he found historical Ottoman coins, minted in Yemen and Egypt 3 centuries ago, and then looted by pirates in the Red Sea to be transported later to America.

Bailey (53 years old) added to Anatolia that these coins shed light on the history of the piracy activities carried out by European colonialists in the Red Sea, and their reflection on early relations between the Middle East and the United States.

Bailey pointed out that he loved searching for historical coins using a metal detector since his childhood years, and that he was always interested in history and spent his life searching for these coins.

He said: During the past ten years, I focused on coins minted in the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries AD, due to their historical importance and their connection to the early periods of European colonial activities.

Bailey said that he resides half an hour from the port of “Newport” in Rhode Island, which was one of the most important terminals for naval convoys during the colonial period in the United States, noting that the mentioned area is rich in antiquities and historical coins.

Bailey pointed out that while he was surveying a farm at the Middletown site, which includes historical sites close to the aforementioned port, where a former colonial settlement was located, he found a silver coin for the first time and was surprised that it was written in Arabic letters.

And he continued: As a result of the long research that I had previously conducted, I realized that these currencies were brought here after their seizure through the plundering and piracy activities that were carried out by the Europeans in the Red Sea region, who used the American colonies as a base for launching in the seventeenth century.

He pointed out that European pirates, led by the famous English pirate Henry Avery, roamed the African continent at that time targeting Indian merchant ships in particular.

He added: Evry sailed towards the Red Sea on board a pirate ship in 1695 after being involved in riots in Spain, and attacked and plundered a ship named “Aurangzeb” intended for transporting pilgrims and belonging to the royal fleet in the Mughal Sultanate of India (Babriyah), and plundering the gold and silver it contained.

Bailey said that during his research, documents were found confirming that the pirate Evry had made a visit to the port of Newport and the nearby American colonies in May 1696.

Pelly also mentioned that the incident of Avery plundering the Indian royal ship had turned into a crisis between England and India, and that the British king had issued an “international search warrant” for the first time in history to arrest Ivry and his men, who have come to be described as having committed one of the biggest crimes of the seventeenth century.

After the Indian royal ship was plundered, Ivry and his men filled the ship with slaves and fled to the Bahamas and from there to the American colonies where they presented themselves as slave traders.

He added that prospectors and archaeologists have found, so far, 16 coins bearing inscriptions in Arabic letters, dating back to before 1695, in ancient colonial areas in the United States.

Bailey confirmed that the coins obtained by him date from the same period, that is, the European colonial period of the North American continent, and show a close connection with the story of Henry Avery.

Pelly also explained that the coins that were found before him consist of 14 Ottoman coins struck (minted) in Yemen, and two Ottoman coins of the aqaga denomination dating back to the period of the Ottoman Sultan Muhammad IV (1648 – 1687) and were minted in Cairo.

And he indicated that the Ottoman coins were seized and brought to the United States by pirates who plundered a number of merchant ships that were conducting commercial activities in the Red Sea.

He added: The Red Sea was an important commercial area, especially the Yemeni port of Mokha, which was one of the most important active ports in the region. Ships not only transported pilgrims, but also goods and money as well as cotton, silk, coffee, silver, and gold products.

America’s first presence in the Middle East

Bailey said that the stories and tales of pirates have always attracted the public, and hundreds of films have been made of pirate travels.

He expressed his desire to display the coins found in the museum, noting that the historical coins in his possession show that piracy was the first way that Americans communicated with the Middle East.

He said: These currencies make us pause a little to think that the first American presence in the Middle East appeared through piracy and plundering of merchant ships between India and the region, and to reflect on the role of American colonialists in piracy activities in the Red Sea.
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