Indians copper cast coins, earliest in the world? [controversial]

Mar 2019
presently it is considered that anatolian lydians/europeans/greeks probably with the chinese were the first issuers of coins in the world, but i was reading Indian archaeologist G. R. Sharma's report and i was surprised to find something i had not expected.

everybody knows punch marked coins from india, but not many people know about copper cast coins, i could hardly find any scholarly work mentioning them in the first place, these coins were obtained from the period earlier than punch marked coins. This has been one of the topics of controversy especially given the present scholars would not like the coins credit taken away from the europeans/greeks/lydians etc.

Sharma dated these coins to 855-815 BC, some western scholars have admitted their early date and date them in the seventh century BC just before 600 BC which is NBPW period.

some scholars/west date indian coinage as late as 400 even 300 BC even though archaeological evidences are so clear cut, which leads me to believe that predominant scholarship refuses to entertain archaeological evidences and date them accordingly.


The Fortified Cities of the Ganges Plain in the First Millennium B.C. on JSTOR

some sources i found here given below:

  1. sharma's report on Kausambi: Excavations At Kausambi (1957-59) : Sharma, G.r. : Free Download, Borrow, and Streaming : Internet Archive
  2. another report on these coins India: An Archaeological History
  3. a thesis done on it from shodhganga: [email protected]: Early uninscribed cast copper coins of India

Sharma's report



for the information, chinese also minted their first coins by casting copper/ dating earlier, if PMC indian silver coins came later than copper cast coins, this would mean that first coins were copper cast coins and silver coins came later, which means that greek/european coins came probbaly in later periods.

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Mar 2019

Cast Copper coin c. 5-4th Century BCE-2nd Century CE

very loose dating btw, uninscribed coin may mean an earlier date, Kolkata museum.

important thing to note is a two horned bull/unicorn standing infront of a pedestal/dhvaja which is below the head just like IVC seals. this coin coupled with saurashtra silver ones are probably the only pre mauryan evidences of matured indian iconography/art.
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