PAKISTAN, HEPHTHALITE, c. 400-700 AD, bronze seal


PAKISTAN, Northwest Frontier Province, HEPHTHALITE, c. 400-700 AD, seal, swastika pointing clockwise, a stub of a boss on the back was either the base of a loop or a shaft for holding, bronze, 20mm square, 5.52g, a ring was broken off the back, VF

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The development of cities allowed a social stratification of more important and less important people into more groups than “rulers” and “ruled.” The existence of seals implies contracts attested to and items tagged by their owners.

Three ways that bronze artifacts were put in the ground for people to find later: people burying the dead with their stuff, people put them in the ground, thinking they’d be back to retrieve it but didn’t, people lost stuff. Since bronze was valuable, people reused it when the thing broke, rather than throw stuff away.

The Hephthalites were the eastern component of the people who, in Europe, were called “Huns.” They are sometimes referred to as “White Huns.” Some of the Hephthalite coins of Afghanistan-Pakistan region have the word “HONO” on them. On the other hand, there is a faction amongst the historians who claim that we really have no idea who any of those people were, let alone if they were related to each other. There seems to be a general feeling that the Huns, or the Hephthalites, or the people the Chinese called Xiong Nu, and other scholars called “Chionites,” were more Iranic than Turkic. Their art often displays mean-looking male human faces with moustaches, and tends toward slapdashery in execution. Apparently what they did best was what they were known for: war and pillage.

Over the decades I’ve been selling collectibles my market has been about 97% coins, 2% paper money, 1% everything else.