COIN OF ‘DATTA’-  Published by Chandrika. Jayasinghe- Island Newpaper

A solitary and extremely rare inscribed specimen illustrated under this group was unearthed at a site known a Gedige. in the citadel of Anuradhapura and two other coins of the same type was discovered at the excavations  conducted by the Department of Archeology in 1986. They are of leaded copper alloy and designs are struck by double dies. One coin sis broken and half of the third letter is missing. The other Coin illustrated here is also uncompleted, with the second and third letters on the reverse been out of the flan. A average details of the coin is as follows.

Size:  1.03 cm

Weight; 1.54 gms

Thickness; 0.02 cm

Obverse; A monogram, a remarkable monogram represented on the obverse is created with hereto unknown form of graphic design. It is accompanied by two signs with a single form of Swsastika, turning to right and the other symbol appeared in linear form in very close to the Brahmi Ta joined with the lower edge of the horizontal line of the Swastika. This is the first  example of such type of graphic form.

Reverse: The legend on the reverse which in bold character of early Brahmi in Prakrit language, could be read as Dataya . It is obvious, that the name Data derived from  Sanskrit “Datta” and the last letter Ya could be  suffix of genitive singular.

In addition to that two coins of gedige, a similar type of coins was recorded from Akurugoda Tissamaharama which belonged to to Brig Siri Munasinghe’s private collection.

It is important to point out that the circulation of Data coins at the major markets at Anuradhapura and Mahagama of the period. Significantly this evidence reveals the commercial links between the two cities and the acceptability of that coin amoung both societies of that period.

Wing Comd Raja. Wickrmasinghe during a presentation at the Si Lanka Numismatist Society published the Carbon 14 dating of layers in which coins were found at Anuradhapura.


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