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Kashmir Coinage: Sultanate Period 1339-1586

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There are millions of ancient coins still unidentified in various collections and museums in the under developed countries and a very little numismatic heritage in these countries so far has been properly identified and interpreted. Wherever these coins have been studied these have helped a lot to the historians in filing up the missing gaps of their respective histories besides also facilitating the reconstruction of political, cultural and trade history of the civilizations. 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 coins. Besides him, Numismatists and scholars like Rodgers, Lane Pole and Nelson Wright also worked on Kashmir coins. These scholars while studying the Kashmir Sultanate coinages had not come across coins of the earlier five Sultans, Sultan Shames Shah, Jamshid, ludin-Ali-Sher, Shahab-ud-Din and Qutub-ud-Din. It is for the first time in the entire history of Kashmir archaeology when Iqbal Ahmad the local archaeologist under took the study of the Kashmir Sultanate coins. For this purpose he had chosen the Barthan coin hoard which was found at Barthan Qamarwati at the out skirts of the Srinagar city in the year 2003. During the study of this hoard, Iqbal Ahmad could also not find coins of these sultans and he concluded that either these Sultans had not coined their money or their coins were found. However, Nelson Wright in his catalogue of the, coins in Indian Museum Calcutta, has attributed a single silver coin to Shams Shah I, Dilip rajgor also in his standard catalogue of Sultanate coins has mentioned single silver coin of the same king but other numismatists have questioned its identity and these experts believe it as the coin of Shames Shah II (941-42AH). In view of these observations the Sultanate numismatic history emerges from the period of Sultan Sikandar who ascended the throne in 788 AH continued up to 813 AH. The constant type of coins stuck by Kashmir sultans was the Al-Sultan al Azam type which was introduced by Kashmir Muslim Sultans in the 14th century AD. Sultans coined money in copper, silver and gold. Few brass coins of sultan Zain-ulAbidin are also known. Their coins carried the legend Al sultan Al Azam with the name of the sultan on obverse and the mint name and date on reverse Contents: 1. Introduction; 2. Political History; 3. House of Shahmeir Sultans; 4. House of Chak Sultans; 5. Persian Chronicles; 6. Sanskrit Works; 7. Sultanate Graveyards; 8. Coins; 9. Metals and Types; 10. Notes and References.

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