Hindus in Multan under Alor - Rare early silver "Tapana" damma, ca.675 CE

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Stylized head right within a dotted border, Brahmi letter "Sri" on the forehead / Stylized Sassanian altar with the shaft replaced with three dots, stylized Brahmi letter "Sri" above, four characters Tapanasa ("of Tapana" or "of the Sun"). 13mm, 0.71 grams, Multan mint. Mitchiner ACW 4905-4909 var; Mitchiner NIS 269-276 var. SKU 31092

These are the rare earliest pieces, struck on a smaller flan and in a different style compared to the later coins. This type is unpublished. The three-dot coins were misdescribed both times they appeared in publications - Mitchiner described them as "Guptas from north of Malwa" (and this is the most common attribution for these coins used). In a mongoraph published about these coins LC Gupta and SJ Mangalam attributed them to Sri Gupta, the first Gupta ruler. Both attributions are certainly wrong, since these coins are found in eastern Sindh, and not in Malwa. The misattributions took place because of the poor state of preservation of the available specimens - no coins with a full inscription were known until a small hoard of high quality coins (including this piece) was recently discovered.

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