SHAHI, Samanta Deva, c. 850-1000 AD, jital


SHAHI, Samanta Deva, c. 850-1000 AD, jital, Ohind(?) mint, Obverse: bull L, SRI SAMANTA DEVA, Reverse: horseman, DI L, degenerate Brahmi “PU”? R, silver, 18mm, 3.15g, T14.1, aVF

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Samanta Deva is not the name of someone, rather, it is a title.

The Shahis were Turks who came into the Pakistan-Afghanistan region as the Hephthalites were losing their grip. Their signature coin was the silver “bull and horseman” jital.

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.