The field of ancient Indian numismatics is fraught with a number of problems and debates, which make the study of the coins of ancient India, such a rewarding and interesting endeavour. These problems and debates include those of the origin and antiquity of coinage in India; introduction of the die-striking mode of fabrication of coins, and of legends on ancient Indian coins; problems of attribution; of the rarity of busts and of realistic portraiture on ancient Indian coins; and of identification of deities on coins. Then, there are some enigmatic types; the significance of monograms appearing on coins; certain coin denominations; and forgery of coins, which pose problems.
The author has presented, in a summarized manner, some of these vexing problems of ancient Indian numismatics, which appear to defy solution. Scholars have been endeavouring to find solutions to these problems. The author, himself, has devoted over a quarter of a century, pondering over such problems and debates. However, at best, the solutions proposed may be termed as probable, and not final and universally accepted ones.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
Dr. Prashant Srivastava, BA Honours, MA, PhD, DLitt, is Professor of Ancient Indian History and Archaeology, University of Lucknow, Lucknow. He has been awarded four gold medals (BA Honours-one; MA-two; D Litt-one).
He is the author of 12 books, including Joint Coin-types of Ancient India (Varanasi, 1990); Aspects of Ancient Indian Numismatics (Delhi, 1996); Coins of Ancient India (Lucknow, 1997, jointly with Professor K K Thaplyal); Art Motifs on Ancient Indian Coins (New Delhi, 2004); The Apracharajas (Delhi, 2007), and Encyclopaedia of Indian Coins (Ancient Coins of Northern India, up to c 650 AD), 2 vols (Delhi, 2012).
He has been nominated Editor of the Journal of the UP Historical Society, and is an assistant editor of Aitihya, a research journal brought out by the Department of Ancient History and Culture, MJP Rohilkhand University, Bareilly.
He has also contributed 58 research papers in reputed journals, and about two dozen popular articles on ancient Indian history in magazines and newspapers.
In 2006, he was awarded a major research project by the University Grants Commission, New Delhi, for a period of three years, to prepare the Encyclopaedia of Indian Coins (Ancient Coins of Northern India, up to c 650 AD).