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a great deal of most useful wo k for our Society, and also as President of the committee of management of the Patna Museum. Mr. Walsh will leave a gap which it will be extremely hard to fill, and I think it would be well if we took this opportunity to pass a vote of thanks to him for all that he has done to promote the welfare of the Bhar and Orissa Research Society.


I.—An Examination of a Find of PunchMarked Coins in Patna City, with Reference to the Subject of PunchMarked Coins Generally.

By E. H. C. Walsh, C.S.I.

The 108 punch-marked silver coins which are described in the present paper, were found in July, 1917, buried in an earthen ghara in the bank of the Ganges at Golakhpur in Patna City.1 The ghara was unearthed owing to the bank of the river having been scoured away, and a woman who went to bathe in the morning saw the earthen pot projecting from the remaining portion of the bank. The place where the ghara was found is about 15 feet below the present surface of the ground above the river bank. The ghara had become filled with earth, and the coins, when found, were all covered with a smooth dark green coating of verdigris and mud, which gave them the appearance of having been painted over with green paint, which shows, as also appears from an examination of the coins, that some of them contained an alloy of copper. They were described in the Police report of their discovery as "round thin plates (patar) resembling broken pice." The weight of the cc ins when found was Rs. 43-14-0 of which broken fragments, which were not forwarded with the present coins, weighed Rs. 9-2-0. The weight of the present coins was therefore Rs. 34-12-0 and after the thick coating of verdigris and dirt was removed their total weight is Rs. 30-11-0. The verdigris deposit therefore weighed Rs. 4-1-0, or nearly 13 per cent. of the weight of the coins after they were cleaned. The reason for this large amount of copper is due to the

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1 These coins are in the Bihar and Orissa Coin Cabinet in the Patna Museum and are serials, Nos. 723 to 830, of the General Register-E. H. W.

fact that, apart from any proportion of alloy in the coin, several of the coins have been debased by the addition of molten copper to the original silver coin, presumably to make up for weight. That this was subsequently added is shown by the fact that it remains over the punch marks. This is particularly noticeable on coins 11, 18, 62, 75, 88 and the reverse of 104.

It is known that such debasing of the coinage took place. The Artha Sastra, which was written by Kautilya,1 better known as Chanakya, the Brahman Minister who overthrew the last of the Nanda dynasty and placed Chandragupta Maurya on the throne, and which gives such detailed information regarding the government and state of society in his time, refers to the different methods of debasing the currency.

In some others (e.g. No. 37), the silver appears to have been plated over copper. Theobald 2 refers to a passage in the Mahavamsa quoted by Thomas l. c. Num. Orient., page 41, that Chanakya " with a view to raising resources, converted, by recoining each Kahapana into eight, and amassed eighty Koția of Rahapanas." He also mentions examples of puranas which had been plated with silver over copper.3

Punched-marked coins have been described by Cunningham, by Theobald," by Professor Rapson, and have been very fully discussed by Mr. Vincent Smith."


Kautilya's Artha Sastra, translated by R. Shamasastri, B.A., M.R A.S. Government Oriental Library Series. Bibliotheca Sanskrita, No. 37, Part II. Bangalore Government Press. 1915.

* J.A.S.B., 1890, page 182.

'J.A.S.B., 1891, page 58.

Coins of Ancient India by Major-General Sir A. Cunningham (C.A.I.) pages 54-63.

• Notes on Some of the Symbols found on the Punch-marked Coins of Hindustan, and their relationship to the archaic symbolism of other races and distant lands, by W. Theobald, MB.A.S., J.A.S.B., Vol. lix, Part I, 1890, page 181; and A Revision of the Symbols on the Karshapana Coinage, described in Vol. lix, J.A.S.B., 1890, Part I, and description of many additional symbols by W. Theobald, M.N.S.L., J.A.S.B., Part I, 1901, page 38.

• Indian Coins (Grundriss der Indo-Arischen Philologie, 1898), pages 2-3. ▾ Catalogue of the Coins in the Indian Museum, Calcutta, Volume 1, pages 311-142.

The interest of the present find lies in the fact that an examination of the marks on them shows that they occur in certain constant and regular groups on the obverse, and although other varying symbols were added to these constant groups, the above regular combinations which cannot have been fortuitous, shows that the theory that these marks were affixed haphazard by sbroffs and moneyers through whose hands the coins passed cannot be maintained, and that the present coins in fact constitute a "coinage."

On examination of the present coins, 1 found that two marks are found on all the coins, namely (1) a figure of three chhatras, or umbrellas, and three ovals, alternately, round a central circle, (Plate IV, Fig. 1) and (2) the Sun (Plate IV, Fig. 2). The sun does not occur on one coin, No. 108, which only contains two marks; but as this coin bears only Fig. 1 and one other mark, elephant facing left (Fig. 9), and as this coin and also Nos. 99 to 102, 105 and 107 appear to be of a different type to the others, being smaller and thicker, and have evidently Lot had the same amount of wear as the others, they appear to be more recent, and it is possible that this particular coin was not completed.

In addition to the above, two other marks, namely (3) a pot of foliage (Fig. 3) and (4) two interlaced triangles (Fig. 4), occur, forming a constant group of four marks, on 63 of the coins (No. 1-63), which I have called Class A.

In addition, each of these coins bears a fifth mark, which varies on different coins, and according to which I have divided Class A. into 20 sub-classes, as given in the List.

Sub-class I contains 18 coins (Nos, 1-17 and 61) which bear a fifth mark of elephant right (Fig. 5); sub-class 2 contains five coins (Nos. 18-22); sub-class 3, four (Nos. 23-26); sub-class 4, nine (Nos, 27-35); sub-class 5, two (Nos. 36-37) but as the additional mark in sub-classes 2 and 3 is in each case a plant, though of a different design, it is probable that the emblem is really the same and that these two sub-classes are really one class; sub-class 6, five (Nos. 38-42); sub-class 7, one (No. 43); sub-clas 8, two (Nos. 44-45); sub-class 9, one (No. 46);

sub-class 10, four (Nos. 47-50); sub-class 11, two (Nos. 51-52); sub-classes 12 to 19, one each; sub-class 20, two (Nos. 62, 63).

Six coins (Nos. 64-69) which I have called Class B, while bearing the above marks 1, 2 and 3, have not got the fourth mark of interlaced triangles, but in its place have as a fourth mark a humped bull facing left (Fig. 6.)

Twenty coins (Nos. 70-89), which I have called Class C, have a constant group of four marks, namely, Figs. 1 and 2, as in the previous Classes, the two other marks being a lion, (Fig. 7) and a bull's or cow's head with a garland round the neck, (Fig. 8). Two of these (sub-class 2) have also an additional mark of a branch (Fig. 13.)

Eleven coins (Nos. 90-100), which I have called Class D, have a constant group of marks (Fig. 1 and Fig. 2,) and a third mark, elephant left (Fig. 9). Five of these, sub-class 1, have a fourth mark of a triangle with three dots in it, Fig. 42. The fourth mark in the other coins of this class is different in each of the four sub-classes.

Seven coins (Nos. 101-107), which I have called Class E, have the two fixed marks (Fig. 1 and Fig. 2), together with additional marks which vary. One coin (No. 108) does not bear mark 2. I have therefore placed this coin in a separate class, G.

When I made the above classification I was not aware that a similar conclusion that the marks on punch-marked coins occur in regular groups had been arrived at from the examination of previous finds.

I subsequently came to know that Dr. D. B. Spooner came to the same conclusion from the examination of a find of 61 punch-marked coins, which were found at Peshawar in 1906 and are described and illustrated by him in the Annual Report of the Archæological Survey of India for 1905-06 (page 150); and Mr. R. D. Bhandarkar came to a similar conclusion from the examination of a find of 83 punch-marked coins found during the excavation at Besnagar (51 of which were found at Kham Bābā and 82 at Ganeshpura), which he has described and illustrated in the Annual Report of the Archæological Survey of India for 1913-14 (pages 210-213 and 220-226). The coins in the latter case were copper.

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