PUSHKALAVATI civic coinage circa 185-160 BC 1 1/2 karshapana


PUSHKALAVATI, civic coinage, circa 185-160 BC, 1 1/2 karshapana,no date, Obverse: elephant R, Reverse: horse L, star above, rectangular, bronze, 19x15mm, 7mm thick, 13.75g, MA4404, aVG

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The thick copper coins of this period are the earliest of the typically Indian “dump” style of coin production, with thick planchets not used elsewhere.

In the later decades of the decline of the Sunga Empire several cities in the general region of the Hindu Kush developed a degree of local autonomy and issued their own coins. This was before the coming of the Greeks.

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.