CHORESMIA, drachm, c. 200 BC


CHORESMIA, drachm, no date (c. 200 BC), Merv mint, Obverse: helmeted bust R, Reverse: Dioscuroi mounted R, silver, 18mm, 3.13g, imitating Eukratides’ type, S19.2D, type of MA1863 (tetradrachm), chips, aG

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As soon as the Scythians encountered settled civilizations they started making their own coins. In Choresmia they made imitations of Indo-Greek types.

Choresmia is the name for Khwarezm, a fertile region comprising parts of modern Uznekistan, Kazakhstan, and Turkmenistan. It used to border on the Aral Sea, but the Soviets drained most of it to grow cotton, now itÂ’s a dust bowl.

The Scythians were horse nomads famous for their cruelty and for riding around naked in the winter. They were active for about 500 years from Eastern Europe to India.

The earliest ancient Indian coins were the “bent bar” punchmarked silvers of the Achaemenid Persians occupying Gandhara in northwest Pakistan. By the 3rd century BC coins were in general use in most of India and Ceylon, and in subsequent centuries struck round coins in gold, silver, and copper came into use throughout the subcontinent and beyond to Southeast Asia and Pacific islands to Java and beyond.