Roman Gold Coins (A Treasure Trove from Penuganchiprolu)

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Item Code: HAT737
Author: B. Subrahmanyam, ,
Publisher: Department of Archaeology and Museums, Andhra Pradesh
Language: English
Edition: 2008
Pages: 36 (B/W Illustrations)
Other Details 11x8.5 inch
Weight 200 gm
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Book Description

It is interesting to recall that the first ever article on numismatics in India was published in 1790 AD in the second volume of Asiatic Researches' by Asiatic Society of Bengal based on the letter of Alexander Davidson in 1787 AD. Davidson was the Governor of Madras and discovered Roman coins and medals near Nellore in 1786 AD. This hoard contained coins of three Roman rulers namely Hadrianus, Faustina and Pius. Roman coins were found as treasure troves and in excavations in many places since then and present monograph is a study of the last such a hoard containing 59 Roman gold coins found along with two other later coins in Penuganchiprolu.. The other two coins were one each of Ikshvaku and Qutb Shahi dynasty and it is obvious that the hoard was deposited during the Qutb Shahi rule, which ended in 1687 AD. It is interesting to note that people in our country hoard coins of remote past and they were valuable for their content of the metal.


A large number of Roman Gold coins have been acquired by this department as hoards by way of treasure troves from different parts of the state. A few silver and gold coins were also reported in the stratified contest from the early historic habitation sites.

In the year 2002, a hoard of Roman Gold Coins was found at Penuganchiprolu, Krishna District and received by the department as Treasure Trove from the revenue officials. The hoard contains altogether 61 coins, 59 are Roman Gold Coins, 1 lead coin of the Ikshavaku times and 1 copper coin of the Qutb Shahi period. It was unearthed while digging the earth for foundations in the survey no. 447 on the eastern side of Tirupatamma Ammavari Devasthanam chowltry in the village. The weight of coins vary from 6.5 gms to 8.0gms and diameter 1.70 cms to 2.10 cms. These coins have been buried due to several threats in the post Qutb shahi times as attested by the occurrence of 1 copper coin of Qutub Shahi ruler. The systematic study carried out by the authors revealed two new gold coins issued by the Emperors Elgabalus (218-122 AD) and Maximinus (235-238 AD) which are not so far reported in the early historic context of Andhradesa. These issues clearly indicate about the continuity of the trade up to the end of the ikshvaku regime in Andhradesa.

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