KUSHAN, Soter Megas, c. 55-105 AD, drachm


KUSHAN, Soter Megas, c. 55-105 AD, drachm, Taxila mint, Obverse: king on horse R, BASILEWS BASILEWN SWTHR MEGAS, round letter forms, tamgha before, Reverse: Zeus standing R with scepter, flower pot and Karosthi Vi before, MAHARAJASA RAJATIRAJASA MAHATASA TRATARASA, bronze, 7-8mm, 2.1g, MA2919, VF

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The Kushans started as nomads but became cosmopolitan when they conquered Gandhara in western Pakistan. They controlled their section of the Silk Road trade, and patronized Buddhism.

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.