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FORVM`s Classical Numismatics Discussion Board  |  Numismatic and History Discussions  |  Parthian and Other Eastern Coins (Moderator: Howard Cole)  |  Topic: Kashmir 0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic. « previous next »
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Arminius
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« on: February 05, 2009, 02:53:31 pm »

Who can clearly identify the king(s) on these bronze staters (maybe by reading the Nagari legends)?

My first idea was Harsha (1089 - 1101 AD) but when i found more similar coins on 

http://www.grifterrec.com/coins/india/ancientindia4.html

without experience all shapes and possible letters look like rice and ribbon noodles after a while.

Thanks

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napki
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« Reply #1 on: February 05, 2009, 05:31:44 pm »

Top: Didda Rani. Bottom: Sangrama Deva.
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« Reply #2 on: February 28, 2009, 09:26:04 am »

"without experience all shapes and possible letters look like rice and ribbon noodles after a while"

Since this thread is not too old, I'll pull it up again rather than starting anew:

While I agree with the ID's presented, my comfort with the 'noodles' is not great enough to answer my own question:

Other than the name of the ruler on these coins is there anything else in the legends?  Can you separate dates, periods, mints or anything?  Is there an online reference that would provide line drawings of the scripts for these two (the common ones it would seem just looking at eBay) and other rulers of Kashmir?  So far my best reference has been eBay sales listings but some of them are certainly wrong (one seller regularly calls these 'Kushan').

http://www.grifterrec.com/coins/india/ancientindia4.html  does add a few more through photos and adds information like how the words are split between left and right.  I assume Mitchiner Non-Islamic States would add more (I don't own it). 

A problem with reading 'noodle' scripts is people like me don't feel good separating letter form of the same letter from completely different letters.  We get this with Greek and Latin letters on some late Roman coins (for example separating A from H or even delta in mintmarks) but it is worse for these Kashmir coins not to mention Sasanian, Chach and a hundred others issued by people whose letter forms strike us as less than obvious.  I can't help wonder how these ancient cultures would do if confronted with the fonts available on any English language computer. 
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Howard Cole
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« Reply #3 on: February 28, 2009, 09:42:48 pm »

Mitcher does not add that much more.  It tells what are on each side of the coin and the letter forms.  For Didda Rani, he says on the obverse are on left "Sri" and "DiDda" on the right.  On right of the obverse is "DeVya" which I can't make out on this coin here.  For Sangrama Deva, on the obverse left is "Sa" and on the right "Ngra Ma (Ra)".  For the reverse are "Ja" and "Deva" on the right.
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napki
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« Reply #4 on: March 01, 2009, 05:38:15 am »

Simple noodles like these not too hard to read. Each akshara separate syllable. Compare to Brahmi charts at front in Mitchiner.  Some other coins with compounded akshara can be frustrating even for specialist.   
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« Reply #5 on: March 20, 2009, 08:36:54 pm »



Since he was mentioned in the first post, I'll add a coin of Harsha.  The coin also shows the die edge at the left of the side bearing the 'noodles' suggesting that this was the punch die and should be considered the reverse making all the photos on this thread backwards.  I note that Tom's page http://www.grifterrec.com/coins/india/ancientindia4.html consistently shows the side with the greater legend as the obverse as well so I wonder if anyone has addressed the question of which should be considered obverse in any of the literature available. 

...and while we are at it:  How am I to recognize the figure on the side shown left here with the king's name is the goddess Ardoxsho while the side with less legend is the king?  What characteristic shown on either figure led to the identification of who is shown there?  Is this Mitchiner or earlier?  I see the figure on the right having an X device in the middle and arms outstretched that almost look like wings.  The left figure has straight bars in the middle and lacks noticeable arms.  Both seem to have crossed legs and similar heads but the left figure has round ear rings while the right has a square of dots here.  My very limited experience with these does not include a coin with facial details. 
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napki
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« Reply #6 on: March 20, 2009, 09:15:07 pm »

Types can be more easily to discern by examining coins of Hephthalite Toramana II who rule in the 6th century Kashmir and serve as prototype for many centuries of issues that follow. Three example of his coins displayed below. One side have Kushan style king standing left and sacrificing over altar. Other side have female seated facing and holding cornucopiae (or lotus). This goddess generally understood as principal female deity of region Ardoksho (see pdf below). Which side obverse and reverse entirely arbitrary. Later Kashmir kings (& queens) coins have continuous legend run from one side to other side, sometimes with even single word beginning on one face and ending on other! So one might say side where legend begin is obverse and where it end is reverse. This make most sense to me. However, usually one see with Kushan-type coins king side listed as obverse. With Harsha coin such as yours and others of medieval Kashmir legend begin on deity side. So which side obverse? Just important one person know what other is referring to and important to understand what noodles say.

Unfortunately we can not know what maker of coin is thinking and which side he consider "most important". Hammer/ anvil theory is one way to get around this "mind reading" (I remember big arguments in Celator some years ago) but in the end such technical theory is equally arbitrary. Distinction of "obverse/reverse" maybe very important to numismatics cataloguer but it have no independent reality regarding the coins themselves. So pick which you like  Smiley

http://kaladarshan.arts.ohio-state.edu/Projects/Iconographic%20Discussions/ardoxsho/pdf/Ardoxshopt2.pdf




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« Reply #7 on: March 20, 2009, 10:16:03 pm »

I thought I understood your post until I came to the progressive legend from king to goddess since
http://www.grifterrec.com/coins/india/ancientindia4.html
places the goddess on the obverse with the start of the legend.  Toramana obviously shows the ear rings on the goddess who also has her cornucopia which I don't see on the later coins.

It is late here.  Perhaps this will be more clear in the morning.
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napki
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« Reply #8 on: March 21, 2009, 12:18:26 am »

I thought I understood your post until I came to the progressive legend from king to goddess since
http://www.grifterrec.com/coins/india/ancientindia4.html
places the goddess on the obverse with the start of the legend.  Toramana obviously shows the ear rings on the goddess who also has her cornucopia which I don't see on the later coins.

It is late here.  Perhaps this will be more clear in the morning.

Sorry my friend, it very late here too and I do not always make so much sense as I would like to. Please see corrected post above. Regarding cornucopiae, it identify goddess on Toramana coin as Ardoksho. Since then we have steady issue of same type in Kashmir for 500 year between Toromana and Harsha we can say with much certainty I think that even though figure become stylized, still clearly same Ardoksho. Best to sit down with hoard of hundreds or thousands and examine evolution of type in hands. On later coins cornucopiae become stylized lotus flowers in field.
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FORVM`s Classical Numismatics Discussion Board  |  Numismatic and History Discussions  |  Parthian and Other Eastern Coins (Moderator: Howard Cole)  |  Topic: Kashmir « previous next »
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