MINTING OF COINS IN SRI LANKA-SILVER KAHAPANAS


Silver Kahapanas.

The ancient and medieval Coin moulds found during excavations and those stray finds from Akurugoda Tissamaharama are

Mould from Gedige Excavations Anuradhapura

  1. The coin mould at Gedige Excavation by Dr S Deraniyagala described under Coins by Mr HN Sirisoma in Ancient Ceylon No2 December 1972.The specific layer 4 a in which this was found was not C14 dated in 1969 but co-related to 1985 excavations and may be 2 Cent BC- 1 Cent AD?.Mould for square, circular and oblong punch-marked coins. 4.5 x 3.1 cms-1 cm thick. A comment

Fragment of circular or oval mould. On one side which is slightly concave three sockets for rectangular coins of different depths are shown, Of these , two are not preserved in their entirety owning to the fragmentary nature of the mould; however, the fully preserved one measures 1.2 x 1.5 cm. On the other side which is slightly convex one complete socket for a circular coin(diameter 1.5 cm) and part of the two sockets for oval shaped coins are shown”.

The design of some coins are worn out; however , the Sun and the Elephant motifs are evident. The edge of the mould is slightly raised to from a rim, The sockets would have been made by pressing punch-marked coins on wet clay.

The undermentioned mould are from Raja Wickremasinghe & Bopearachchi book Ruhuna- An Ancient Civilisation Revisited.

2.Terracotta Coin Mould. 42 mm. From Akurugoda.

Terracotta disk containing impressions of four different Imperial Punch-marked coins. The symbols are barely visible (only chaitya, six-armed symbols are barely distinguishable) and this proves that coins which were already in circulation were used to make the impressions. These moulds were commonly used for casting coins. Two main channels into which the molten metal was poured are in the edges. Similar terra-cotta casting moulds were found in the Anuradhapura Gedige excavations, from the layers attributed from 2nd century BC to 2nd century AD (see M.H. Sirisoma. & G.Amarasinghe, 1986, p. 7 and 146), and in India (see B. Shani, 1973, figs. 131-2).

2.  No. L. 2.

Terracotta Coin Mould. 37 mm. From Akurugoda.

Terracotta disk containing impressions of three different Imperial Punch-marked coins. The symbols are illegible. One main channel into which the molten metal was poured is in the edge.

3.No. L. 3.

4.Stone Coin Mould. 60 x 50 mm. From Akurugoda.

Rectangular (broken) stone mould containing eight impressions (six complete and two broken at the edges) of rectangular Imperial Punch-marked coins. The symbols are illegible. One central channel into which the molten metal was poured.

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