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Kushan Empire, Kanishka I the Great, c. 127 - 150 A.D.
Nana was a female Kushan divinity from Bactria, a variation of pan-Asiatic Nana, a conflation of Sumero-Babylonian Inanna-Ishtar with a local divinity. Nana is first attested by name on a coin of Sapadbizes, a 1st century B.C. king of Bactria who preceded the Kushans. In this case, Nana is depicted as a lion. Nana reappears two centuries later on coins and seals of the Kushan kings, in particular of Kanishka I. She was typically depicted as a seated martial goddess, escorted by a lion. She was also associated with fertility, wisdom and as a goddess of the waters (in particular of the Indus River). Depictions of Nana are known from Afghanistan as late as the 5th - 6th century. In Afghanistan and Pakistan the name appears as "Nawi," the Pashto word for bride.
WA87810. Bronze tetradrachm
, ANS Kushan
440 ff., Göbl Kushan
776, Mitchiner ACW
3091, VF, dark brown tone, edge crack, Kapisha main mint, probably Begram mint, weight
15.625g, maximum diameter
26.9mm, die axis
, c. 128 - 150 A.D.; obverse
: þAO KANHþKI (King
standing facing, nimbate
, diademed, wearing a round brimmed cap, knee length tunic, trousers and boots, sword in sheath on belt, sacrificing over altar
left from right hand, vertical spear in left hand; reverse
goddess Nana standing half right, nimbate
, wearing diadem with long ties, and sleeved ankle length robe, hair with bun in the back, scepter
topped with lion protome
in right hand, bowl
in left hand, Bactrian inscription
NANA upward behind, tamga right; ex Moneta
(Missouri Numismatic Society Bourse, July 2015); SOLD
Catalog current as of Friday, May 24, 2019.
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