The ancient history of Jammu and Kashmir which is taught or written in colleges and universities has been relying mostly on the traditional sources, like folklore, or some already written records. There has been hardly any effort at individual or institutional level to look for other sources as well.
For example the archaeology, paleography and numismatics have not been taken so seriously in reconstruction of the ancient and medieval history of Jammu and Kashmir. To quote the words of Prof Dr. Sohanleeka, Associate Professor Historical Studies at JNU, New Dehli, “If we talk of only coins, these have perhaps been least exploited source and numismatics has remained a rather sequestered discipline in terms of the incorporation of its insights into main stream works.”
In fact thousands of coins have been found and thousands of coins are being preserved in the museums of Jammu and Kashmir while number of coins found in Jammu and Kashmir have also traveled to far off lands.
The history scholars who teach history in colleges and universities have altogether forgotten these significant source materials in their history writing and teachings.
Since numismatics is a vital sources in writing political, economic, technological, cultural and trade and commerce history of this land, and we all know that the era of folklore (padshah kath), has turned an outdated method for historiography, and today’s researcher hardly takes into account the tales of story tellers. They believe on scientific investigations and look forward for that hypothesis which is based on genuine facts and scientific investigations.
Indeed numismatics is such source material which is based on facts. A coin although carries very little information, but whatever it carries is definite and accurate, provided it is properly identified and deciphered.
The numismatics book tilted, ‘Ancient Romans and Greeks in Kashmir” authored by the reputed numismatist and archaeologist of Kashmir Iqbal Ahmad, and published by HSRA publishers Bangalore, has made such significant revelations which have first time appeared on the ancient historiography of Jammu and Kashmir. The author in this wonderful research book has attempted to explore the Kashmir’s ancient Roman and Greek connections through the numismatic and archaeological studies.
The book basically is the study of two ancient numismatic hoards, which very earlier have been found in Kashmir and preserved in its state museum at Srinagar. These two hoards have carried few copper and silver coins of ancient Romans, Byzantine, Indo-Greeks, Indo-Scythians, Indo-Parthians and Kushan Emperors. In fact Greek, Scythian and Kushan coins are very much recorded to have been found in Jammu and Kashmir, but finding of Roman coins in Kashmir has been a great mystery which has puzzled the numismatists and archaeologists. The author in this book has been very straight forward, and has used very simple language to share his research, . The author on the first page of his book writes,
‘During my longest stay in Jammu and Kashmir’s largest and oldest museum at Srinagar and in my archaeological survey travels, I came across certain very interesting and wonderful archaeological and numismatic evidences of several ancient foreign tribes in my this land of Jammu and Kashmir”.
These included the archaeological artifacts, ancient coins and architectural influences of, ancient Romans, Byzantine, Indo -Greek, Indo Scythian, Indo- Parthian and Kushan Empires.
The finding of such evidences of these civilizations within the land of Jammu and Kashmir itself is a wonderful mystery which has create curiosity among the scholars and intellectuals of this land. The book titled ‘Ancient Romans and Greeks in Kashmir’ is an attempt on part the author to explore the hitherto unknown facts of the ancient history of Kashmir.
Basically it is a scientific study and documentation of ancient archaeological, numismatic and architectural evidences of the above mentioned civilizations which have been found in Jammu and Kashmir till the advent of 22nd century AD. In this book are first time identified and deciphered the archaeological artifacts and ancient coins of ancient Roman, Byzantine, Indo Greek, Indo Scythian and Kushan empires and an attempt has been made to interpret these physical evidences in their proper perspective. The events related to the ancient history, political, cultural, economic, technological, trade and commercial links of Jammu and Kashmir with in the western and eastern world have been explored on the bases of available numismatic data.
In the book are deciphered and described the coins of ancient Roman empire which have been first time found in Jammu and Kashmir, besides the chronology of Indo Greek, Indo Scythian, Indo Parthian and Kushan emperors in Jammu and Kashmir, which accounts about seven hundred years from 200 BC to 500 AD, have also been first time dealt in context with the standing numismatic and archaeological evidences.
The readers, particularly the students and research scholars pursuing their studies in ancient Kashmir, Roman, Byzantine, Greek, Scythian, Parthian and Kushan, history, Archaeology and numismatics would find this book more interesting and informative.
This book deals with our ancient history with more scientific and physical approaches. The book is available on Amazon and Flipkart with its eBook editions as well.
Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed in this article are the personal opinions of the author. The facts, analysis, assumptions and perspective appearing in the article do not reflect the views of GK.