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Author Topic: Cribb on Indian Coin Origins  (Read 420 times)

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Offline EWC

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Cribb on Indian Coin Origins
« on: July 15, 2017, 11:17:19 AM »
Joe Cribb finally got around to putting one of his papers on Indian PMC's on the web, here

https://www.academia.edu/33778310

Might interest some?

I never went fully along with the conclusions, but its a very valuable analysis - bearing on how little we can be sure of concerning these coins

Rob

Offline THCoins

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Re: Cribb on Indian Coin Origins
« Reply #1 on: July 15, 2017, 11:23:11 AM »
Thanks for the link. Sure to put this on my holiday pile of things to read !

Anthony

Offline Matteo

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Re: Cribb on Indian Coin Origins
« Reply #2 on: July 16, 2017, 05:03:12 PM »
Thanks Robert!


Offline mitresh

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Re: Cribb on Indian Coin Origins
« Reply #3 on: August 05, 2017, 07:01:22 PM »
This is an old paper dated to 1983, not sure if contents are still relevant in light of further studies, research, hoards etc. especially the insinuation that the earliest punch mark coins in India arose due to Greco-Iranian influence.
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Offline Figleaf

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Re: Cribb on Indian Coin Origins
« Reply #4 on: August 05, 2017, 10:40:39 PM »
Indeed, Cribb is currently posting pretty old stuff, some of it more relevant than others. He recently posted a review of a book on Chinese cash coins by O. D. Cresswell, a vey pleasant Irish gentleman I corresponded with when I was young and innocent. His book has long been overtaken by far more elaborate studies.

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

Offline EWC

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Re: Cribb on Indian Coin Origins
« Reply #5 on: August 06, 2017, 08:15:07 AM »
Insinuate = suggest or hint (something bad) in an indirect and unpleasant way?

An odd thing to write. 

Its a year or two since I heard from my old friend OD. 

He  had a firm grip on empirical scholarly objectivity, something regrettably lacking in recent times
« Last Edit: August 06, 2017, 08:46:30 AM by EWC »

Offline Figleaf

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Re: Cribb on Indian Coin Origins
« Reply #6 on: August 06, 2017, 08:41:53 AM »
Insinuate = suggest or hint (something bad) in an indirect and unpleasant way?

That's just the modern connotation. The etymology (Lat: in sinuare - in curves, tortuously) is more neutral. In 16th century English: to introduce covertly into the mind. Perhaps meant to mean "to suggest from weak evidence" here, but may mean something else yet in Indian English.

Bottom line: the price of not having to learn a foreign language is to see your own language used by foreigners for their own purpose.

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

Offline EWC

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Re: Cribb on Indian Coin Origins
« Reply #7 on: August 06, 2017, 08:59:11 AM »
I asked Mitresh what he was getting at, since the comment made no sense to me as it stood




Offline mitresh

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Re: Cribb on Indian Coin Origins
« Reply #8 on: August 06, 2017, 05:59:37 PM »
The article concluded (not 'insinuated') that Punch Mark Coins did not originate independently in India but was rather introduced/copied/modelled on Greco-Persian coinage. This may have been the view of the author in 1983 but I do not think it is accepted any longer, especially by the numismatic fraternity in India.
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Offline EWC

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Re: Cribb on Indian Coin Origins
« Reply #9 on: August 07, 2017, 08:33:43 AM »
The article concluded (not 'insinuated') that Punch Mark Coins did not originate independently in India but was rather introduced/copied/modelled on Greco-Persian coinage. This may have been the view of the author in 1983 but I do not think it is accepted any longer, especially by the numismatic fraternity in India.

Thanks for the clarification.  As I said in my initial post, "its a very valuable analysis - bearing on how little we can be sure of concerning these coins"

The question of the ultimate inspiration of these coins is closely tied to questions about the date of inception, and I am unclear what hard facts we have on this, for India and indeed China.  Rajgor (2001) gave a list of sources who disagreed with the proposed Cribb dating, but how hard are the putative facts behind those judgements?

Probably behind this is that we tend disagree about something more fundamental.  Your assumption seems to be that knowledge itself has, in these social sciences, increased since 1983.  My own judgement is that it has very often decreased.  Driven by the career aspirations of professional academics, more and more we are offered what people want to believe, rather than merely what the facts themselves dictate

Offline Matteo

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Re: Cribb on Indian Coin Origins
« Reply #10 on: August 08, 2017, 07:41:32 PM »
I've finally found the time to read this paper.

I don't have many papers on this argument and I don't know so much about the different theories about Indian coinage.

If I'm not wrong, Cribb argued that Indian PMC originated from Greek/Iranian coinage. So we can say that at first we have Greek coinage, then we have the local coinage of Kabul (derived from Greek coinage) and finally the Indian PMC, especially bent bars from Gandhara (in the IV sec. b.C.).

But before this, we also have unmarked bent bars circulating in Iran during the Achaemenid period. My two cents: I think that these unmarked silver bars could be the key to understand the beginning of Indian (or at least the Gandharan) coinage.

What do you think? Do you have other papers about these silver bars?

Thanks,
Matteo :)

« Last Edit: August 09, 2017, 10:11:56 AM by Matteo »

Offline EWC

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Re: Cribb on Indian Coin Origins
« Reply #11 on: August 09, 2017, 10:49:55 AM »
If I'm not wrong, Cribb argued that Indian PMC originated from Greek/Iranian coinage.

The main argument suggests a transition from Western Turkey to Afghanistan to N India - so not really Iranian - coin use skipped Iran to get to India if this argument is correct

But before this, we also have unmarked bent bars circulating in Iran during the Achaemenid period.

Silver apparently circulated by weight in Iran from about 3000 BC onwards.  However, most of this I have seen is in the form of crude broken bits of raw refined silver, or broken jewellery.  There are reports of both inscribed ingots and bars - but they seem to me few and far between.  So am inclined to treat the Bivar report as a one off of not too much importance, unless more finds turn up.  (were the Bivar bars bent?  I have not got direct access to the paper, but I never heard that).

In Ionian Greece one gets a mix of marked and unmarked flans - one would need something similar from India/Afghanistan to close the link you mention.  There were a few bits of ingots alongside the bent bars in MZ II - but they were from blank circular discs - which are formed in the crucible - and thus the sort of form probably seen from 3000 BC down to 1900 AD


Silver apparently circulated by weight in Iran from about 3000 BC onwards.  However, most of this I have seen is in the form of crude broken bits of raw refined silver, or broken jewellery.  There are reports of both inscribed ingots and bars - but they seem to me few and far between.  So am inclined to trear the Bivar report of a one off of not too much importance, unless more finds turn up.  (were the Bivar bars bent?  I have not got direct access to the paper, but I never heard that).

In Ionian Greece one gets a mix of marked and unmarked flans - one wouold need somenting similar from India/Afghanistand to close the link you mention.  There were a few bits of ingots alongside the bent bars in MZII - but they were from blank circular discs - which are formed in the crucible - and thus the sort of form seen from 3000 BC down to 1900 AD

Offline Matteo

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Re: Cribb on Indian Coin Origins
« Reply #12 on: August 09, 2017, 07:55:46 PM »
Thanks for your answer Robert :)

I've read some papers about the use of silver ingot in Asia Minor and Near Ancient East. You are right when you write that it would be necessary to find a hoard with unmarked bars and Indian coins to have a possible link between bent bars from Gandhara and Iranian silver bars.
 
There are reports of both inscribed ingots and bars - but they seem to me few and far between.

Do you have any images?

Offline EWC

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Re: Cribb on Indian Coin Origins
« Reply #13 on: August 11, 2017, 09:22:52 AM »
Do you have any images?

Good question - and no - not of the crucial items.  There are lots of excavation reports on relatively late Hacksilver hoards especially from Israel dating to around 800 BC.  (The stuff in those is much like what we see in Viking Hack silver from 800 AD).

I have not found pictures of the  items that get highlighted as proto-coins in the literature - which I seem to recall are inscribed Assyrian silver discs - and the Median  "Bivar Bars".

My feeling is that these items get picked out by people who want to believe a plausible sounding kind of theory - but if that theory really held water there should be many more such items, and it would not be so difficult even to get a picture of even one..............................

Offline Matteo

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Re: Cribb on Indian Coin Origins
« Reply #14 on: August 11, 2017, 05:20:42 PM »
but if that theory really held water there should be many more such items, and it would not be so difficult even to get a picture of even one..............................

This is the reason I asked an image...It's very hard to find one! Several authors talk about coinage (in form of sealed silver) before Lydian/Ionian electrum coinage, but no images are available.

For example the use of bundles of pre-weighed silver is known in Ancient Near East. These bundles were sealed by an authority and therein could lie the roots of coinage (if we consider a coin a piece of stamped metal, than also a bundle with a seal could be a kind of coin).

Unfortunately I don't have any images of these sealed bundles, but I have read about them in the interesting paper "SEALED SILVER IN IRON AGE CISJORDAN AND THE ‘INVENTION’ OF COINAGE" (I cannot share it, because I didn't buy the PDF. Too much expensive)

What is the link between unmarked silver, sealed bundles and early coinage from Asia Minor? Is this the correct prospective to understand the beginning of coinage in the West? And in the East? If anyone have an answer, please let me know!  ;D

Maybe I am off topic...

ps: it is too much difficult for me to talk about this argument in English :(