EARLIEST COINS MINTED IN SRI LANKA.?

Th  coin found at the earliest C 14 dated layer of earth during scientific excavations are inscribed objects with a Swastika on a railing. According to Mahavansa the Sinhalese had the knowledge of coins before they landed in the Island. Vijeya’s father  Sinhabahu took 3,000 pieces of Gold[?] for slaying Sinhala the Lion in Vanga region in India.Did he bring along some of these coins?. In what coins did he pooja [ Give or a ceremony] to Kuveni when he had to send her away, to get a proper a queen from the Mahasammata dynasty of King from Mathura.[ Mhv VII verse 60],

COIN OF ‘DATTA’- As published in the Island – By Chandrika Jayasinghe.

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 is broken and half of the third letter is missing. The other Coin illustrated here is also uncomplete, 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 Swastika, 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 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.

A coin of Data reading Datasa was published in Ruhuna- An Ancient Civilisation Revisited- Bopearachchi & Wickremasinghe.

Dating of this Coin.

Dr Shiran Deraniyagala the Director General  of Archeology has noted that “ Radio Carbon Dating is at present the best independent method of checking historical dates”. This layers in which the Datta  coin was found both at Gedige and Salgaswatte  were dated to Pre 300 BC and 390-130 BC. This is perhaps earlier than the Coins of the Railed Swastika Series with deity with Halo or the Large Multi-symbol Elephant coin.

 

COINS FOUND

4 of these coins reported from Dr Deraniyagala excavation at Anuradhpura, one or two of these coins were found at Tissa down south of the Island.

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