Author Topic: Shafurqan jital / dirham  (Read 685 times)

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Offline BACTRIANUMIS

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Shafurqan jital / dirham
« on: November 22, 2017, 02:42:17 PM »
Dear Colleagues, would appreciate your opinions on the issuing authority of this coin. I posted it on zeno, where mint was identified as Shafurghan.
« Last Edit: November 28, 2017, 11:09:47 AM by THCoins »

Offline THCoins

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Re: Shafurqan jital / dirham
« Reply #1 on: November 22, 2017, 08:15:30 PM »
Interesting find, thanks for showing !
Looks like very low silver Billon. Agree with the reading "Shafurghan". This poses the first question, is this the same mint as the more common spelling "Shafurqan"? The find information makes that more likely.
Below a Jital (Tye#247) of Ala-ud-din Kwarezmshah (1200-1220AD) from this mintcity with the more common spelling (Left in the centre). As far as i know, this spelling was used from the Ghorid occupation to at least the rule of Mönke Khan (upto 1260AD) (for example Album-1978B).
I did see this spelling also on other Möngke coins like this AV Dinar on Zeno. Do not know of earlier coins with this spelling, though.
So my best gues would be that this is contemporary to Möngke, or slightly later.
« Last Edit: November 28, 2017, 11:16:19 AM by THCoins »

Offline BACTRIANUMIS

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Re: Shafurqan jital / dirham
« Reply #2 on: November 23, 2017, 07:56:20 AM »
Dear THCoins, many thanks! Your observation on similarity of mint name spelling is just amazing :)...I could not find any coins with similar writing of this mint, neither before, nor after Möngke reign. As for metal composition - 2 out of 6 coins of this type I examined were debased AR, and four pieces looked pretty much like pure AE.

Offline THCoins

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Re: Shafurqan jital / dirham
« Reply #3 on: November 23, 2017, 11:26:01 AM »
Glad to be able to be of some assistance !

To understand the numismatics of the area i also looked into the history of some of the mintplaces. First thing to look at was whether the city still existed in modern times. For many places names had changed quite a bit. The only logical candidate for Shafurqan seems Sheberghan in Jowzjan province. This is spelled شبرغان in arab. So already might fit the name ending as on your coin.

Sheberghan is probably derived from "Shapur gân", "the city of Shapur" the Persian king of the Sassanian dynasty.
With the shift to Arab rule this likely became "Shafurqan" شفورقان as Arab does not have the Persian "P".
This spelling seems to have been used upto the Mongol Era. I did not look into detail at that period as it's a bit outside my focus.
I did wonder whether the spelling was changed on purpose to avoid reading confusion. The قان of "Shafurqan" quite resembles the contemporary spelling of the title of the Khan as "Qa'an" قاان. But that's just a thought i did not investigate further.

Anthony

Offline EWC

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Re: Shafurqan jital / dirham
« Reply #4 on: November 23, 2017, 08:16:53 PM »
We do not have much to add to what Ton put – mainly to say this is a very odd piece and we never saw anything like it.  The general story line for Afghanistan around that time is that the Mongols killed near everyone and returned the land to pasture,  so urban life stopped for a couple of centuries - and with it all coin use – right down to Timurid times.  Obviously there are a few exceptions to that general story line, but the whole matter is I think little understood.

Looking at the picture the coin seems to me most likely a copper fals (?), and I would not expect to see any copper being issued at Shafurqan/Shafurghan prior to the Timurids.  Having said that - it does not look particularly Timurid, but it does not look like the Khwaremian pieces either.  So who knows?  Not me!

In haste – no time just now for research.

Rob T

Offline BACTRIANUMIS

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Re: Shafurqan jital / dirham
« Reply #5 on: November 23, 2017, 08:39:39 PM »
Dear EWC, thank you very much for your attention to this topic!
I just would like to add that mint Shafurqan was also attested on Ilkhan Arghun's coin (683-690AH), but, similar to Möngke issues, it is spelled as "Shafrqan"

Offline EWC

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Re: Shafurqan jital / dirham
« Reply #6 on: November 23, 2017, 10:00:19 PM »
I just would like to add that mint Shafurqan was also attested on Ilkhan Arghun's coin (683-690AH), but, similar to Möngke issues, it is spelled as "Shafrqan"

Thanks - I followed your link to Zeno and found some more things from your remarkable collection!  The suggestion that Afghan coinage (almost) stopped from the Khwarezm Shahs to the Timurids came from conversation with Nick Lowick, and clearly, is even less correct than I assumed............

Rob T

Offline BACTRIANUMIS

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Re: Shafurqan jital / dirham
« Reply #7 on: November 30, 2017, 02:58:30 PM »
Dear EWC, thanks once again for your kind comments  :)

Offline BACTRIANUMIS

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Re: Shafurqan jital / dirham
« Reply #8 on: December 11, 2017, 12:38:05 PM »
There is one more coin of this type I just acquired. Given the word in upper margin is “سنه”, could it possibly be the date (in digits) in the left margin? Something like (..)52?

Offline THCoins

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Re: Shafurqan jital / dirham
« Reply #9 on: December 12, 2017, 09:31:41 AM »
Difficult to say whether this might be a date. For once, it seems quite uncommon in this era to date the coins in this way in the margin. I think you will have to find a third, even better, specimen to remove any doubts.

Offline EWC

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Re: Shafurqan jital / dirham
« Reply #10 on: December 12, 2017, 10:29:56 AM »
Album ducks the question of the earliest Islamic coin dated in numerals (ciphers as he puts it).  (Has anyone seen more detailed work?)  He is clear it is almost never before 1300 AD and almost always after 1450 AD.  So the answer looks like no if we go on the basis of the early date suggestions on this coin.  But that matter too remains unsolved.

As Ton says - and as so often - we seem to need better specimens to solve these (linked) problems

Rob T

Offline BACTRIANUMIS

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Re: Shafurqan jital / dirham
« Reply #11 on: December 12, 2017, 02:32:28 PM »
Dear THCoins and EWC, thanks again for giving up your time on this topic! Unfortunately, there was no any better preserved specimens with marginal legends. Finally, there is a photo of OBV of the third coin, with almost nothing on it, except for more or less clear bottom segment..I think it might be "zarb"..if so, full mint formula (mint +date) might well be on OBV
I guess we have a similar case on ZENO (except for coin being AR) when a coin contains numerals and fall into Mongke period.
« Last Edit: December 12, 2017, 02:56:17 PM by vaxtankava »

Offline EWC

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Re: Shafurqan jital / dirham
« Reply #12 on: December 12, 2017, 04:21:16 PM »
I guess we have a similar case on ZENO (except for coin being AR) when a coin contains numerals and fall into Mongke period.

Ha! What an amazing piece!  Thanks for showing!

Rob T