KUSHAN, Western Barbarians, c. 40-60 AD, tetradrachm


KUSHAN, Western Barbarians, c. 40-60 AD, tetradrachm, no date, Kapisa series, Obverse: diademed bust R, corrupt Greek legend, Reverse: Herakles standing with club and lion skin, KUJULA KASASA KUSHANA YAVUGASA (Karosthi), bronze, 22mm, 6.59g, MA2897, VF

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To the west of the Kushans were people of unknown ethnicity who used imitations of the coins of Kushan king Kujula Kadphises.

The Kushans started as nomads but became cosmopolitan when the conquered Gandhara in western Pakistan. The 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.