Chinese Coins from Tamil Nadu
International trade brought Chinese coins to the shores of the countries in its neighbourhood and far-flung areas like Africa and to the plains of Central Asia. India, which was part of this vast trade network, exported coral, pearls and beads to China and imported jade, silk and celadon ware from that country. This resulted in inflow of hundreds of Chinese coins to India.
Though a few papers on Chinese coins found in Tamil Nadu had appeared in some Journals, no one ever attempted to bring together all the available information. Krishnamurthy has done this for the first time. He also provides some basic information like ‘Contacts and trade with China’, ‘Chinese coins’, ‘Chinese coin hoards and dating’, and ‘Chinese coins from Sri Lanka.’
However, the most important part of this book is, his effort to include the description and illustration of Chinese coins from his own collection from places like Karur, Madurai, Tirukkovilur and Terezundur, besides the details of two hoards – Vickramam and Olaya Kunem – from Tamil Nadu, presently in the Government Museum at Egmore in Chennai. Based on the terminus post quern of Vickramam hoard, i.e., A.D.1279 and the Tamil inscription dated A.D.1281 from Quanzhou in China, the Author surmises that regular trade contact between China and Tamil Nadu could have begun in the 13th century and the Chinese coins described in the book could have arrived only in that period.
This book, designed primarily for identifying Chinese coins, particularly those found in Tamil Nadu, contains 370 illustrations in multi- colour and the description of obverse and reverse sides, in addition to the name of the Emperor who issued them and the dynasty to which he belonged. The book is bound to be a useful companion for the coin collectors, numismatists, historians and archaeologists and could find a place in the shelf of any library.
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