Olbia - A settlement in Sarmatia
The Greek colony of Olbia was highly important commercially and endured for a millennium. The first evidence of Greek settlement at the site comes from Berezan Island where pottery has been found dating from the late 7th century.

It produced distinctive cast bronze money during the 5th century BCE in both the form of circular tokens with Gorgon heads and unique coins in the shape of leaping dolphins. These are unusual considering the struck, round coins common in the Greek world. This form of money is said to have originated from sacrificial tokens used in the Temple of Apollo Delphinios.

By the end of the 3rd century, the town declined economically and accepted the overlordship of King Skilurus of Scythia. It flourished under Mithridates Eupator but was sacked by the Getae under Burebista, a catastrophe which brought Olbia's economic prominence to an abrupt end.

It was restored by the Romans, albeit on a small scale and probably with a largely barbarian population.

Modern location: Archaeological site

(1) Olbia c. 200-150 BC
AE unit Olbia
Obverse: Laureate head of Apollo right; countermark - helmeted head (of Athena ?) right
Reverse: Lyre; OΛBIO / B_A/ EI_(PH)
Ref: SNG BM Black Sea 637-8
(2) Olbia 300-200 BC
AE unit Olbia
Obverse: Head of the river-god Borysthenes left
Reverse: Axe-sceptre and bow-case; NOY(?) in left field
Ref: None provided