The Kashmir coins

Book review

IRFAN NAVEED

Title: Ancient coins of Jammu, Kashmir, Ladakh and its frontier Districts
Author: Iqbal Ahmad
Publisher: Dilpreet Publishers, New Delhi
Distributors:   Ariana Book Distributors,   New Delhi
Publishing Date:  August, 2013
Reviewer: Irfan Naveed


The numismatic heritage of Jammu and Kashmir more or less has remained unattended.  A very little of this heritage has been studied by the British numismatists during surveys of 19th and 20th century. Alexander Cunningham was perhaps the first archaeologist and numismatist who under took the study of Kashmir archaeology. He is also learnt to have few coins of medieval Kashmir. He was later followed by other European   missionaries like Rodgers. Lane Pole and Nelson Wright.  But all of these scholars had remained stuck to medieval ages of the Kashmir numismatic history. Few local historians that include PN K Bamzai , GMD Sofi  and Mohibul Hassan, also studied some Muslim period coins  and incorporated them in their respective historiographies.
Since centuries passed the numismatic heritage remained neglected as there was no body technically trained to undertake the scientific study of this significant   heritage.
Iqbal Ahmad, noted Kashmir based archaeologist and author, became the first Kashmiri to undertake the numismatic studies of the state and published a monogram titled ‘Kashmir Coins’. In his first phase of research of this kind , Iqbal has made the first documentation of ancient coins and currency notes of the state available in his fresh monogram on ancient coins of the entire Jammu and Kashmir state and in its frontier Districts title. 
 The archaeologist born at Parigam in the South Kashmir’s District of Kulgam has deciphered and studied thousands of ancient coins found in the state and kept in its various museums, coin collections and with individual keepers of Jammu, Kashmir Ladakh and of its frontier districts. 
Iqbal Ahmad, who has got the technical qualifications of investigating the ancient coins, has been engaged in the research and study of these coins for last one decade. Trained in numismatic studies from Indian Institute of Numismatic Researches, Nasik Maharashtra, Ahmad also learned classical Greek, Khoroshti, Brahmi, Sharda, Persian and Arabic alphabets to decipher the legends devised on these coins.
He had deciphered a number of these classical legends on these coins and identified, chronologically,   hundreds of ancient coins of  Janaphada , Mouryan  Greek, Scythian Parthain , Kushan , Kidara, Heptithlites . karkota, Shameri, Chak , Mughal , Durrani , Sikh and  Dogra   periods.
 According to him the Punch mark coin in Silver bearing certain motifs has been the earliest among the un-inscribed coins of Kashmir stuck here during the Janapadha period  dated ( 600-350)B C. Such coins, according to him, had been found  at Semithan Bijbehara in south Kashmir and few such pieces of Punch Mark  are also preserved in the numismatic cabins of the state museum at Lalmandi. 
.
The researches made by this scholar are incorporated in the monogram on Kashmir coins authored by this scholar and published by a reputed Delhi based publisher.  This monogram   carries   illustrated documentation and identification of coins with descriptive notes on metallic analysis, typology,   and weight standards. The monograms also carry the classification of various treasure troves found in entire Jammu and Kashmir State including the parts administrated by Pakistan.  The noted author and archaeologist have already authored a number of books and research papers on Kashmir Art, Culture and Archaeology.


(The author can be mailed at irfannaveed486@ gmail.com)

Lastupdate on : Fri, 6 Sep 2013 21:30:00 Makkah time
Lastupdate on : Fri, 6 Sep 2013 18:30:00 GMT
Lastupdate on : Sat, 7 Sep 2013 00:00:00 IST




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