RRR silver karshapana, late Magadha/early Mauryan type, 350-300 BC, India (G/H 493)

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Five punch-mark symbols / A number of bankers' marks. Irregular flat silver plachet, 16mmx12mm, 3.41 grams. Scarce. Gupta/Hardaker ISPC #493.

Very rare type.

These silver coins with various punchmarks are the earliest silver Indian coins. Magadha was an ancient kingdom of India, mentioned in both the Ramayana and the Mahabharata. It wasalso one of the four main kingdoms of India at the time of Buddha, having risen to power during the reigns of Bimbisara (c. 544-491 BCE)and his son Ajatashatru (c. 491-460 BCE). The core of the kingdom was that portion of Bihar lying south of the Ganges, with its capital at Rajagriha (modern Rajgir). Magadha expanded to include most of Biharand parts of Bengal with the conquest of Anga, and then expanded up the Ganges valley annexing Kosala and Kashi. Magadha formed one of thesixteen so-called Mahajanapadas (Sanskrit, 'great country'). TheMagadha empire included republican communities such as Rajakumara.Villages had their own assemblies under their local chiefs called Gramakas. Their administrations were divided into executive, judicial, and military functions. Bimbisara was friendly to both Jainism and Buddhism and suspended tolls at the river ferries for all ascetics after the Buddha was once stopped at the Ganges River for lack of money.



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