|Dimensions||28 × 21 × 1.5 cm|
P. Anne vant Haaff
Saurashtra (c. 450-50 BC) & Surasena (c. 500-350 BC) Silver Punchmarked Coinage
The book covers the coinage of the Surasena Janapada and presents one or more examples of each type as seen by the author. Surasena coinage is scarce and scientific information is mainly derived from a small number of hoards from the Mathura region. The attribution of the coins to Surasena was first made by Dr. P. L. Gupta as late as 1989, based on hoard evidence. The Surasena coinage has a distinct pattern that is easy to identify. Always a single punch is used with a lion-type animal, which is nearly always accompanied by a fish. The image seems to be unique to Surasena. Surasena coins are small and the image is always partly off flan. Therefore several examples per type are presented. A photograph of each coin and an eye copy is provided. The coin images, taken from photographs have been electronically enhanced. All coin images and drawings are enlarged to about 200%. All drawings are made by the author. This analysis of the Surasena coinage was made possible by the support of Mr. Kamalesh Kumar Maheshwari and Mr. Amiteshwar Jha of the IIRNS. Thanks to their co-operation the author had access to the photographs of the Maheshwari collection and to the photographic library of the IIRNS, collectively covering more than 1000 coins. They are probably from two hoards of unknown provenance. A number of other collectors provided images of their Surasena coins. Information on the history of Surasena and of the geographical situation of the Janapada is very limited. Most authors repeat basic information and refer to ancient literature. Ancient inscriptions with information on Surasena have not come to the knowledge of this author.
Study of the coins of the Maheshwari hoard and the IIRNS photographs indicate a relation between Surasena and the Panchala Janapada. About 16% of the coins in these hoards have been re-struck on a Panchala coins.
The author has placed forward a hypothesis for the dating of Surasena coinage.
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