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Small discovery - Probable Alchon origins of the "Gurjura" drachm  
 

 
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 Posted 09/13/2017  1:16 pm Show Profile   Bookmark this topic Add Finn235 to your friends list Get a Link to this Message
One of those things that only I am likely to care about, but I might as well share it here.

At the beginning of the winding Gadhaiya Paisa track of Indo-Sassanian coinage is a broad type, loosely attributed to the Huns, the Gurjuras, the Gurjura-Pratiharas, or something along those lines. Most of them have a distinct dress on the attendants, which I call the "thorn dress". Nearly all are completely anepigraphic, in fact I have only one that seems to attempt a legend:



Highlighted:


The curious "mint mark" had bothered me for some time; it seems too deliberate; later coins that attempted to emulate such marks just made diagonal lines. I was doing some research and stumbled on this coins posted at Grifter:



According to him (citing Gobl), the mark on the left is cursive Bactrian, spelling ALCHOON:

http://grifterrec.rasmir.com/huns/huns5.html (Gobl 287.1 on that page)

Still chomping at the bit for my copy of Maheshwari to arrive; I'm curious to know if I'm on to something here, or else way off base.
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 Posted 09/13/2017  1:49 pm  Show Profile   Check echizento's eBay Listings Bookmark this reply Add echizento to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
Now that is an interesting coin and one that I've not come across before. It's clear to see how it was modeled after a Sasanian drachm, but the crown and script are very different. Very nice coin.
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 Posted 09/13/2017  4:25 pm  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add moxking to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
I cringe every time I see these. Only because I sold mine years ago.
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 Posted 09/13/2017  4:38 pm  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add Finn235 to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
Sorry to hear it do you have any pictures? I'm up to about 30 coins for this series, but these very early types seem to be pretty rare. Interestingly, it is closer to the official Peroz than the Hunnic coin in terms of proportion of the various elements on the coin. Still trying to figure out the thorn dress... there are some passing similarities on other Sassanian coins' attendants, but not generally on those of Peroz.
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 Posted 09/13/2017  8:04 pm  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add Spence to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
Steve, is "beginning of the winding Gadhaiya Paisa track" roughly the 4th Century AD or even earlier? I'm trying to understand where my drachms of the Nazak Huns and Hephthalite Empires fit in--later right?
"It certainly strikes the beholder with astonishment, to perceive what vast difficulties can be overcome by the pigmy arms of little mortal man, aided by science and directed by superior skill." --Henry VIII
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 Posted 09/14/2017  1:43 pm  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add Finn235 to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
@Spence, I might have to wait until I get my book for that.

You have a copper Nezak trident-type, correct? I believe the answer is that your coin is roughly from the same time as mine. I'm still learning the specifics of the Hun kingdoms:

Xionites - first Huns to leave the Mongolia area, c. 200? I think they mostly made Chach-type bronzes and poor imitations of Sassanian coins.

Kidarites - Settled near Bactria around 300-400, pushed out Kushano-Sassanians, then adopted their coin types. Driven out by Peroz and Hepthalites in 469, settled in Kashmir and made imitations of Kushan gold dinars that were debased until they became the Kashmir staters.

Hepthalites - Settled central Asia around 350, allied with Peroz, then went to war with him, 469-484. Two Ransoms of Peroz and Kavadh make his coins the de facto Hun coinage. They started by countermarking his drachms, then started imitating them and expanding aggressively. Most are poorly attributed. Defeated by a Sassanian-Turk alliance in ~567, and became a tributary of the Goturks. They are believed to have toppled the Gupta Empire, and may have introduced their imitative coins into Sindh.

Alchons - Roughly contemporary to the Hepthalites, but smaller and likely subservient. Initiated the famous kinda-Sassanian coins of Khingila and his successors, before Peroz was ever in the picture. Known to have invaded India around the same time as the Hepthalites.

Nezak - Centered around Kabul, Afghanistan, and seem to have absorbed the Alchons via a confederacy, likely against the Goturks after the fall of the Hepthalites. They produced the Napki Malka bull head drachms, the Trident types, and then the Shahi Tigin types, using first Pahlavi, then Brahmi, and finally Brahmi and Bactrian.

Northern India was in total chaos from about 550-606 under the Hun invaders, but was reunified by Harsha, who essentially rebuilt the Gupta empire, but died without an heir. He was succeeded by the Gurjara-Pratihara dynasty, who ruled from ~650-1036. They made .200 fine inscribed Indo-Sassanian "drammas" of a few different types, most famously the "Sri Ha". Their arch-rivals, the Pala empire, also made similar drachms of a different style, but also inscribed.

They had feudatories in Gujarat that rebelled and became the independent Chavdas from 690-942. They *officially* started the Gadhaiya Paisa, although they clearly borrowed motifs from the makers of the coin in the OP. The Chavdas were then usurped by the Chaulukyas, 942-1244, who made the "Gadhaiya Paisa" proper. They in turn were usurped by the Vaghelas, 1244-1304, who were toppled by the invading Muslims. The very late Gadhaiya were copied by the Rajputs in Malwa, who were subjugated in the mid-1300s, finally ending when the Omkara monastery was ordered to stop making the Sri Omkara drachms. The Gadhaiya Paisa circulated widely until the 1500s, and some rural merchants still accept them as legal tender today.
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 Posted 09/14/2017  7:20 pm  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add Spence to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply

Quote:
You have a copper Nezak trident-type, correct?


No it's silver. I have it attributed as Goebl 200 and dated to 625 to 711 AD. All very confusing to me...
"It certainly strikes the beholder with astonishment, to perceive what vast difficulties can be overcome by the pigmy arms of little mortal man, aided by science and directed by superior skill." --Henry VIII
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