Author Topic: Kuntala Janapada: An Undeciphered Enigma  (Read 2398 times)

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Offline mitresh

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Kuntala Janapada: An Undeciphered Enigma
« on: February 21, 2013, 01:49:24 PM »
Kuntala Janapada, 600-400 BC, Double Karshapana, 6.20g, Pulley with treskelis symbol



Most unusual symbol the meaning and exact purpose of which is still an enigma! The force of the punch makes the coin look wax like and syphate. The coin has lovely toning though and rare to find in this condition.
« Last Edit: January 12, 2019, 01:42:14 PM by mitresh »
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Offline capnbirdseye

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Re: Kuntala Janapada: An Undeciphered Enigma
« Reply #1 on: February 21, 2013, 03:04:00 PM »
Amazing looking coin, symbol looks like someone was inventing the first combustion engine  :o
Vic

Offline Md. Shariful Islam

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Re: Kuntala Janapada: An Undeciphered Enigma
« Reply #2 on: February 21, 2013, 03:36:57 PM »
Amazing looking coin, symbol looks like someone was inventing the first combustion engine  :o

... or a table clock with pendulum :P

Offline Figleaf

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Re: Kuntala Janapada: An Undeciphered Enigma
« Reply #3 on: February 21, 2013, 11:07:39 PM »
Have a look here for a link to other triskele coins.

Peter
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Offline mitresh

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Re: Kuntala Janapada: An Undeciphered Enigma
« Reply #4 on: February 22, 2013, 06:58:58 PM »
Thanks Peter. I was aware that the Celts as well as others used the Triskelis symbol.

I am not so sure as to what do the three ends of the triskelis signify but here's my Top 10 from what I've read elsewhere, it may symbolize all or any of the following:

1. Past, present and future
2. Hell, heaven and earth
3. Rajas, Tamsik, Sattvik (3 'gunas' of classification of mankind as per ancient hindu philosophy)
4. Life, birth and death
5. Phases of the moon - full, half, new
6. Spirit, mind, body
7. Father, son, holy ghost
8. Creator, preserver, destroyer
9. Power, intellect, love
10. Gods, humans and demons

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Offline Figleaf

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Re: Kuntala Janapada: An Undeciphered Enigma
« Reply #5 on: February 23, 2013, 02:06:31 AM »
Some (1, 4, 5, 9) of the options in your list are unlikely, most (2, 3, 6, 7, 8, 10) are highly unlikely, bordering on the impossible, since the symbol is quite a bit older than today's established religions and existed in simpler, harsher times, when nobody cared about e.g. mind and spirit. Many of your options are assigned to triangles. Real symbols are more complicated. Think of Chinese characters: they are all symbols and the vast majority is neither symmetric, nor simple.

Cavaros, on his web page argues for a Celtic symbol of wholeness or completeness. Maybe so. I prefer to say that it may just be an appealing design. My principal reason is that the use of the symbol is widespread and not a monopoly of any region or religion. Your coin is a good illustration that it is not a Celtic monopoly.

Peter
An unidentified coin is a piece of metal. An identified coin is a piece of history.

Offline mitresh

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Re: Kuntala Janapada: An Undeciphered Enigma
« Reply #6 on: February 23, 2013, 05:05:32 PM »
Thanks Peter. I find it amazing that different cultures at different time periods spread at different geographic locations around the world should end up using common symbols.
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Offline Figleaf

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Re: Kuntala Janapada: An Undeciphered Enigma
« Reply #7 on: February 23, 2013, 06:02:47 PM »
That is an intriguing truth, Mitresh. It is no great feat to come up with a triangle, square or circle, or derivatives, such as a six-pointed star, an eight-pointed star or a holed disc. There are, however, symbols that are shockingly international and time-independent. My favourite example is the Indonesian/Malaysian/Indian garuda, the Egyptian/Greek/Hellenistic Phoenix and the christian dove of peace, all connecting life and death. Communicating between life and death is very strong magic that appeals to all humans, but why a bird?

I am getting back to basket weaving and the swastika. The patterns observed in daily life may have been a source of inspiration to iron age artists. In the case of the triskelis, the inspiration may have been waves breaking on the beach. The magic of the fisherman returning safely to land with a nourishing catch.

Peter
An unidentified coin is a piece of metal. An identified coin is a piece of history.

Offline rgs1978

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Re: Kuntala Janapada: An Undeciphered Enigma
« Reply #8 on: January 11, 2019, 06:26:32 PM »
Picture missing in original post so just thought will add. 

Archaic Punch Marked Coinage found mainly from Wai region and attributed to Kuntala Janapada (600 - 400 BC), Double Karshapna, 6.24g, 20.4mm x 11.44mm, obv. Pulley Shaped Central Symbol, rev. Very Light Punch of Pulley.

Picture and description courtesy to auction catalogue. I own the coin now. 

Offline rgs1978

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Re: Kuntala Janapada: An Undeciphered Enigma
« Reply #9 on: January 12, 2019, 03:45:07 AM »
Image missing



Most unusual symbol the meaning and exact purpose of which is still an enigma! The force of the punch makes the coin look wax like and syphate. The coin has lovely toning though and rare to find in this condition.
[/quote]

Offline EWC

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Re: Kuntala Janapada: An Undeciphered Enigma
« Reply #10 on: January 12, 2019, 11:48:03 AM »
I think there is some evidence that the big pulley symbol on this coin might be a very stylised Crab?

As to the triskeles symbol  - well start with that - and I think it leads us also to the 3 ball symbol…..

On that – well for starters I should mention the important new book by Fishman and Todd

http://www.ancientcoins.ca/

Since (at last!) we have a comprehensive catalogue of the 3-ball coin issues of Multan

I mention that too because, oddly,  while Alberuni was in exile at Multan he wrote long piece about the possible relationship between the Christian and Hindu trinities.  And yikes – that was still not so far from the time these 3-ball coins were issued.  Of course Moslems reject the trinity, but still and all they sometimes wrote some quite odd things about a verse in the Koran concerning the book, the sword and the scales……

But once you start – where will it end!  Recall the tamgha of Timur was also 3 circles

We can go at that historically

https://www.academia.edu/17410816

Or artistically

https://squarekufic.com/2017/05/04/a-backward-interpretation-of-the-cintamani-one-symbol-two-origins/

Or esoterically

http://www.esotericonline.net/profiles/blogs/a-tale-half-legendary

Its worth having a look at the end of the Wiki Timur page too – concerning his “exhumation and alleged curse”

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Timur

One thing for sure - Dan Brown missed a trick with this stuff...............

Rob T

Offline mitresh

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Re: Kuntala Janapada: An Undeciphered Enigma
« Reply #11 on: January 12, 2019, 01:43:59 PM »
Thanks Ramesh. I Have attached the coin pic now to my original post.
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Offline Figleaf

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Re: Kuntala Janapada: An Undeciphered Enigma
« Reply #12 on: January 12, 2019, 03:19:21 PM »
...a verse in the Koran concerning the book, the sword and the scales……

Very interesting, EWC. One of the titles Timur used was "sword of Islam". When I visited Timur's grave, the guide stressed a quote, supposedly from Timur (not in Wikiquote, but in character) "If I am not just (adil), what am I?" The scales are a symbol of Koreanic justice: the duty to promote Islam by subduing and killing infidels.

Where will it end? With a grin on my face, not only for the pleasure of having closed a few synapses, but also for the pleasure of remembering those EIC coppers with scales and the word adil underneath. :)

Peter
An unidentified coin is a piece of metal. An identified coin is a piece of history.