Author Topic: Punch Mark Coin: Archaic Series from Ghagra-Gandak River Valley  (Read 1346 times)

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Offline mitresh

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Coin 1

Ancient India, Punch Mark Coin, Archaic Series, Shakya Janapada, 600-400 BC, 7.02g, Narhan Hoard, Ghagra-Gandak River Valley


Obv: Single central pentagonal symbol with additional symbols around.
Rev: Blank


Coin 2

Ancient India, Punch Mark Coin, Archaic Series, Shakya Janapada, 600-400 BC, 7.12g, Narhan hoard, Ghagra-Gandak River Valley


Obv: Single central geometric symbol within 5 semi-circle with dot in between the circles, additional symbols around
Rev: Blank


Note on the coins (source: CoinIndia)

Perhaps some of the earliest known coins from India, these punch-marked coins were first found in the town of Narhan in modern-day Uttar Pradesh. The Shakya janapada (also called Vajji or Lichchavi janapada) was located on the Indo-Nepal border north of the modern town of Gorakhpur. Its capital was Kapilavastu. The birthplace of the Buddha, Lumbini, was ten miles east of Kapilavastu. The Buddha's father, Suddhodhana, was, according to Rajgor, the elected president of the Shakyas. Some of these coins may well have been minted during the time of the Buddha's life. Buddha is also known as 'Shakyamuni' or 'Sakyamuni' (muni means a sage or a learned/enlightened person).

The coins were probably made from thick sheets of silver, which were then cut down to size to attain the proper weight. Then a central punch was applied, rendering the coin somewhat scyphate in shape. Many of the coins bear a central pentagonal symbol, while others carry other geometric symbols. Some of the coins also carry additional punches around the central symbol. In all probability, these were banker's marks.

According to Rajgor, the Shakya coinage adhered to a shatamana (shata = 100, mana = unit) standard of 100 rattis. The shatamana was divided into 8 shana. The coins above would then be 5-shana (5/8 shatamana) pieces of 62.5 rattis (7.29 gm.) McIntyre asserts they are double karshapanas of 64 rattis (7.46 gm.); however, he reports a weight range of 6.96 gm. to 7.22 gm., which would place all of his coins neatly within the 5-shana weight. On the other hand, the karshapana might have weighed 3.43 gm, in which case the double karshapana would be 6.86 gm, much closer to the weight of these coins.

Of late, however, Rajgor attributes these coins to Ayodhya Janapada.

« Last Edit: October 07, 2013, 10:41:01 AM by mitresh »
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