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Ahurpat, the King of Kesh

Started by Pellinore, September 24, 2015, 02:57:21 AM

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Meet Ahurpat, the King of Kesh! A tiny late 7th century bronze coin from South-Sogdia - Kesh or Kish is near Qarshi in Uzbekistan, south of Samarkand. The obverse has been inspired by the Sassanians: a proud king with a big nose (although my partner thought it is rather more like a duck in a pond! You can see it, or you can't).

The reverse shows a triskelis, a three-legged swastika (not unlike a tamgha though), surrounded by Sogdian texts.
A few years after Ahurpat's demise, his country was overrun by the Arabs.
It measures 18 x 14 mm (part has broken off, or was never there). The weight is 1,21 gr.
It's a rare little coin, I'm quite happy that I could find one.
-- Paul


Very characterfull coin. I guess at the time you would not have to dare saying the king had a duck-face !  :)


I saw this better version of the same type on Ebay, but didn't manage to buy it. Quite impressive I think. I wonder about the text, which should be readable on both coins, once you know which language it is.
-- Paul


Here thyo portrait looks like it came from "Planet of the Apes". The script will be Sogdian, but i have not mastered that.


Excellent fun coin, Paul. TFP. There is plenty of literature on the Sogdian script, but I find that usually, the lettering is so warped on coins that it can't be read anyway. Noted experts on coins with Sogdian script can come up with totally different readings. Whenever I visit ancient monuments, I am reminded that it is so much easier to destroy than to create. The death, destruction and misery caused by islamisation of the region is beyond imagination, rivalled only by the Christianisation of the Roman empire. In that perspective, the Sogdian script is no more than collateral damage.

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