COINS FOUND IN THE RELIC CHAMBERS OF KOTAVEHERA.


KOTAVEHERA.

Kota-vehera is at Dedigama , which was an ancient residence of Kings and Royalty. It is the birth place of King Parakramabahu I. This stupa was built to commemorate his birth.It was excavated in the 1950’s by Dr Godakumbura.Twenty two coins were found in the two relic chambers, which are important for numismatic history of the Island. These coins are published in the book The Kotavehera of DedigamaCE Godakumbura, Dept of Archeology 1969.

Dr Godakumbura has identified the coins as below.

First Chamber.

Coins from Second Chamber.

DEDUCTIONS FROM ABOVE FACTORS.

The readers are requested to add or comment on the following observation made by the author.

1. The three copper coins found in the relic chamber No 1, with a tree on one face and Grantha letters Sri Sanga-bo , the Virudu name used by many kings from the Anuradhapura period has not been published before. Has any-one seen or read about one of these coins??. I have a silver piece which according to MR KNV Seyone has the Sinhala Nagari letter for Sri as found on Pollonnaruva coins and a Sanka or Conch under it[ Sr Sanka} and a Bo-ankula on the other side. This is the closest to Sri Sanka Bo. But many Gold coins too have Sri symbol on right of the standing figure and a Sanka[ Conch] or Sanda [ Crescent Moon] and a Bo-ankula at the end of the lotus stalk, again sounding Sri Sanka or Sanda Bo.Dambadeniya Sri Sangabo Coins

The coins are not clear but a visit to Dedigama with the permission of the Archeological Dept to look at the coins is a must for SLNS.

2.The Gold Aka and Virakeralasa Coins.Comments:

1.The Aka of Gold , Dr Godakumbura states a Fish above the Word Aka on reverse. Needs to examined. We have come across a Chank, but no fish so far?.

2.Silver Virakelasa are perhaps are those of Chola coins or is it a new Sinhala Coin???.

3. The Vijayabahu I.

a. He ruled before Parakramabahu I , white metal and copper coins are found .

b.  The fork of Sri is on the rights.The Letter Sri of Polonnaruva Coins

c. Two type of metals, Wgute metal and Copper.

4. Parakramabahu I.

a. The fork of Sri on right side.

b. Two type of metals White metal and copper.

c. One eight Coins and perhaps a quarter Massa. Need further examination.

D. Dr Godakubura suggest in one coin the standing figure is carrying a sack.

The Chambers contained a Unique  Lamp.There many parts of the art in this that may be of Numismatist interest. The Elephant of found on our coins, but caries a two riders. Perhaps a Khastriya King or Noble[ Kit Usab]. The stand on which the Elephant stands is similar to the Asana or Throne found on many ancient Sri lankan coins. There were Lamps placed at the four corners of the Chambers, similar to the Lamps found on our Bull, Pot, Lion, Fist Coins of the C series which has two lamps on either side and the three lines may represent a pedestal or asana found here.

There is also Lion sculptures similar to that on the Lion Parakramabahu and many art of numismatist interest.

5. Coins found.

Only coins that were issued up to Parakramabahu I[ The fork is the right of the Sri- a characteristic of Parkramabahu I and Vijabayabahu I coins according to the current understanding. This may a coincidence or the or the chambers were closed during the period of Parakramabahu the great. The other coins like the Aka of Gold is earlier to this king and may have been continued to be used during or after his time

What do you think ??- Your comments will be included in this post.

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