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30 Nov 2023, 16:19 HRS IST
  • PTI
  • 800 ancient copper coins discovered in Budgam

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20:52 HRS IST

Srinagar, Mar 8 (PTI) Jammu and Kashmir State Archaeology Department (SAD) has discovered over 800 ancient copper coins dating back to 11th and 12th century from a village in Budgam district of central Kashmir.

It is said to be the largest numismatic discovery from the district.

"A team of experts, under the supervision of the Director Archives, Archaeology and Museum M S Zahid, recovered over 800 ancient copper coins from a plateau of village Nonar in Khan Sahab area," an SAD spokesperson said today.

He said the plateau, apparently rich in archaeological treasures, was under consideration of the department for long time.

During the trial excavation, the coin hoard was recovered.

The hoard consisting of more than 800 coins were later on collected by the team of the state archaeology, the spokesperson said.

Archaeologists of the Archives, Archaeology and Museums Department, who are investigating the findings, in their preliminary report, has dated the coins to 11th to 12th century AD, when Yassakara and Lohora dynasties ruled over Kashmir, he said.

The discovered coins have gathered dust and rust and are being given chemical treatment in the conservation lab of the SPS Museum at Lal Mandi.

"After the coins are cleaned and given necessary chemical treatment, only then these would be properly identified and deciphered by the department experts and research work on these coins will be shared with the heritage lovers and archaeologist of the state.

"It will certainly help us in filling up of the gapes in the numismatic collection of our museums," the spokesperson said.

He, however, said this kind of numismatic discovery from the Budgam district is very rare as it is first time when the department has recovered such largest coin hoard from this area.

Earlier, sultanate period coins were recovered from Chrar-e-Sharif area of Budgam, while the department also recovered a huge hoard of more than 2000 ancient coins from Watnar village of Anantnag district in south Kashmir in the past.

The department under the supervision of Zahid has made 11 discoveries in last 13 years, out of which four such discoveries pertains to numismatic field, the spokesperson added.

He said these discoveries helped to fill the gaps in Archaeological field viz-a-viz numismatics, Sculpture, Art and Archaeological sites of the state s glorious past.

"All the finds are well preserved in the SPS Museum at Lal Mandi here. This museum houses the largest collection of ancient coins in copper, silver and gold, estimating more than 70,000," he said.

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