This blog is incomplete and will be finished soon.
The ancient coins found in the Island has symbols such as the Railed Swastika on the reverse . The other symbols are shared by most independent states of neighbouring India. In the absence of names of Kings etc they cannot be chronologically arranged . The best evidence available so far is to arrange these in a chronological order is by the C14 and Thermoluminescence dating of strata of undisturbed earth in which these coins are excavated.
A archeological excavations done at Gedige, Salgaswatte and Vijeba Palace at Anuradhaura by Shiran Deraniyagala and that done at Tissamaharama by the German Team is the best evidence available so far.
These facts are from a presentation made by Wng Comd Raja Wickremasinghe to the Sri Lanka Numismatist society. He had examined the finds at Anuradhapura.
The evidence at Gedige.
The excavation was done to the bedrock and the layers where coins were found is shown in colours below.
The coins found at the deepest level was inscribed as Dataya which means “of Data”. The reverse at a Swastika mouted on shaft perhaps the vertical of ancient sinhala letter Ta ?. The strata was dated to Pre 300 BC.
The Tree and Railed Swastika, the Silver kahapanas or the Punched Mark Coin that were plated and the Coins with Standing Figure and Railed Swastika. A double sided mould with different shapes of the PMC’s was also found.
Immediately above this was a a square coin with a lady standing on a lotus bathed by two elephants on the obverse and a railed swastika on on a 2 tier base, with in a boat[ Raja Wivkremasinghe]. The strata was dated to 210-10 BC.
The coins find at Gedige published by Mr MH Sirisena is shown below.
The layer in which they excavated were later co-related to strata dated to
The rectangular plagues is parhaps a male figure and above the head is a distinct Halo or bonnet, with numerous ray enamating inwards toward the head. These are similar to the coins described by Henry Parker in Ancient Ceylon.
The Excavations at Salgaswatte Anuradhapura
The layers where coins were found is shown below
In the earliest dated layer a coin of Dataya was found
The standing figure and Railed swastika was excavted next earliest strata. These rectangular pieces were crudely struck with a standing figure perhaps a male figure, holding to staffs or weapons.
The Multi symbol Elephant and Railed Swastika finds was dated to layers
In the suceeding strata dated to 190-100 BC was the Small Elephant and Railed Swatika , the Re-struck Elephant and Railed Swastika and the Tree and Railed Swastika coins. The Tree and Swastika coin was similarin shape to the square Female figure coin found ar Gedige and has a Railed Swastika with two tiers but no trace of boat[ Raja Wickremasinghe].All these coins has been found as stray finds from Akurugoda Tissamaharama.
At Tissmaharama the strata in which coins were found published by R Walberg was
1 Cent BC Strata.
b. Punched marked Coins – 2 Coins
e.Plated Punch Marked Coins – 02 coins
1 Cent AD Strata