SHAHI Samanta Deva circa 850-1000 AD jital


SHAHI, Samanta Deva, circa 850-1000 AD, jital, no date, Ohind(?), Obverse: bull L, SRI SAMANTA DEVA, Reverse: horseman, comma above horse’s head, copper, 17mm, 3.26g, T15, black, crust, disease spots, F

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I’ve had these copper bull and horsemen coins before. They might be rogue issues of a warlord or similar, or contemporary counterfeits. We don’t know a lot about their political and economic arrangements.

Samanta Deva is not the name of someone, rather, it is a title. The legend continued to be used for several centuries by various regimes.

The Arabs appeared in Afghanistan starting in 719 AD, disrupting the Turko-Hephthalite regimes in the region. A remnant in Zabul, south of Kandahar (Gandhara), organized into what became known as the Shahis or Hindushahis. Their standard silver coin had a bull on one side and a horseman on the other.

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.