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Author Topic: What does Gandhara Mint Mean?  (Read 259 times)

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Online Virgil H

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What does Gandhara Mint Mean?
« on: October 22, 2022, 10:45:20 pm »
I see a number of coins from the Kidrates identified as "Gandhara" mint. Anyone know what this means exactly? I am thinking it means they don't know the actual mint city. Gandhara was a large area encompassing northeast Pakistan and into the Kabul valley of Afghanistan. When I see Gandhara as a mint, I think it is similar to saying a coin was minted in Ionia or Thessaly or whatever. Does anyone know if this term refers to a city or is indeed a country region thing? With other coins from this region, often specific cities are cited.

Now, I also know that Gandhara can also refer to the modern day city of Kandahar, Afghanistan. It is possible the Kidrates ruled there, but I am having trouble finding much info about them. Usually when a mint city is unknown, it says "unknown Pontos mint" or something, not Pontos. I would expect to see "unknown Gandhara mint" unless I am missing something here.

Thanks,
Virgil

Offline SC

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Re: What does Gandhara Mint Mean?
« Reply #1 on: October 23, 2022, 12:46:54 pm »
I am no expert but here is my understanding.

Gandhara is an ancient region and is also the term applied to an art style.

There may have been a historical Gandharan kingdom/polity way back - there are references in 6th c BC Indian texts.  However, since then there has never really been a Gandharan polity.  Instead, Gandhara has been a region or part of a larger polity - e.g. Achaemenid Gandhara - or the centre of a polity that used a different name - e.g. the Kushan Kingdom.

So yes, mint of Gandhara is in effect being lazy.  There were a variety of mints depending on the time and culture.  For example, I believe that the Kushan mint of Taxila is in the territory known as Gandhara, as is perhaps Peshawar.

So for Kidarite coinage you'd have to consult a good reference.  I gather that Joe Cribb divided Kidarite coinage of the era they occupied Gandhara into things like Mint A, Mint B, etc.  Not sure if he or anyone ever assigned actual places....

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(Shawn Caza, Ottawa)

Online Virgil H

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Re: What does Gandhara Mint Mean?
« Reply #2 on: October 23, 2022, 01:19:56 pm »
Thanks Shawn, that was very helpful. I will try to find some of the references.

Virgil

Online Virgil H

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Re: What does Gandhara Mint Mean?
« Reply #3 on: October 23, 2022, 10:44:49 pm »
Also, just to add, mints in what we know as Gandhara (under varying ruling groups over the years) include Taxila, Peshawar, Kapisa (Begram), Kabul, Ghazna, and a few others I can't think of now. The Hindu Shahis ruled what is called the Kingdom (Shahi) of Kabul and Gandhara in the 800-1000 AD period, for example. Others had their main mint Ana capital in Kapisa. And so on. It is a fascinating area.

Virgil

 

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