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Ancient Period

Cowry, Silver Punch-marked coins, ‘Bent-bar’, Saucer shaped coins of GandharJanapada, Copper cast coins, KushanaGold and Copper coins, Indo-Parthian, Indo-Greek, Indo-Schythian and Indo-Sassanian,Gold and Silver coins of Gupta era,and Harikelasilver coins etc.

  1. Cowries:

    Cowries, a particular type of shell are displayed here also. From the immemorial to recent past up to 19th century, cowries were used as a currency for small trade or exchange in Bengal. Still now we do not know particularlywhen the cowries were introduced as a medium of exchange in Bengal. In the mediaeval period, these cowries were imported from Maldives by exporting rice to use them as a coin. Cowries are mainly a shield of a sea animal.

  2. Silver Punch-marked coins:

    Silver Punch-marked coins- arethe oldest coins of Bengal as well as of the Indian subcontinent. These coins were struck and circulated in the Mauryanperiod, during 4th century B.C to 2nd century A.D. Manufacturing process is the main reason for the nomenclature of these coins. Generally these coins were manufactured by cutting a certain amount of metal from the silver sheet or by melting the metal or by dropping it on a hard object then stamping the metal with a certain die. One to five symbols or sometimes more than five symbols were stamped on these ancient coins. There were no name of the issuer or his effigy or any indication but certain symbols were stamped on the coins obverses. The common symbols minted on the coins are sun, mountain or hill, hill top crescent, river, boat, tree, fish, bird, elephant, tiger, bull, rhinoceros, snake, arches etc. Two types of punch-marked coins have been found in Bangladesh, viz. Janapada or Local coins and Imperial series coins. Janapada or local coins have been discovered from a limited area and not found outside that particular area having up to 4 symbols on its obverses. Imperial series coins are found from various places all over the sub-continent having 5 symbols on its obverses. It is presumed that those coins were struck and circulated during the Mauryan period. So, these coins are called Imperial series coins. The Silver Punch-marked coins and coin hoard have been found at Wari-Bateshwar and Mahasthangarh in Bangladesh through archeological excavations. Besides, Silver Punch-marked coins are also being found from Baigachha of Rajshahi, Fetgram of Naogaon, Sahebganj of Gaibandha and from Natore. Thus it can be stated that, these coins were used widely across ancient Bengal. The coins are found in round, oval, rectangular, square or pentagonal shapes. In addition one type of bent shaped coins is being displayed in Showcase no 1 which is known as ‘Bent-bar’. These coins were circulated in Gandhar Janapada. Saucer shaped coins of Gandhar Janapada and copper cast coins of the Shunga period (1st to 2nd century A.D) are also being displayed here.

  3. Harikela Silver Coins:

    Harikela was a kingdom of ancient Bengal. These coins were in circulation within this kingdom during the period of 7th to 9th Century A.D. The obverse side of these coins contains the portrait of an incumbent bull, the legend Harikela written in the Brahmi script above it. The reverse displays a tripartite symbol (Trixula). It is assumed that, nomenclature of these coins was taken from the name of the kingdom. As far it is known, Harikela kingdom was stretched from present day Sylhet to Chittagong-Noakhali region along with Comilla-Mainamati region. A huge quantity of Harikela coins have been discovered from the archaeological excavation of  Mainamati in Comilla.

  4. Copper coins of the Kushana kings:

    Kushana Copper coins were circulated in ancient India since 1st to 2nd century A.D. The coins of Kushana kings of VimaKadphises, Kanishka, Huvishka and Vasudeva are being displayed here in Taka Museum. Dinarwas used as the monetary unit for Kushana gold coins. As for example quarter, one and two dinar coins of VimaKadphises are known. The main features of the Kushana coins are: circular in shape; one side of the coins contains the portrait of the Kushana king; the other side either a deity of Greek or Hindu or Buddhist pantheon. It shows that the Kushana kings were very liberal towards their religious faith. Greek and Kharashti legends are found in the Kushana coins. Kushana coins have been discovered from different places of Bangladesh. It is presumed that, these coins might have been come here for trade purposes. Besides, some Greek deity inscribed Indo-Parthian, Indo-Greek, Indo-Schythian and Indo-Sassanian coins are being dispositioned in this showcase.

  5. Silver Gupta Coins:

    Maharajadhiraja Chandragupta Maurya established Gupta Empire over India in 320 A.D. The Gupta Empire which was sustained for more than 250 years was actually the Golden Era of Indian History. The whole of Northern India was under the rule of Gupta Empire. There is not available information about the rule of the Guptas in Bengal. It can be presumed that North Bengal was under the direct rule of Gupta Empire. From the of Allahabad stone pillar inscription of Shamudragupta(340-380 AD.), it has been confirmed that the states of Samatata, Dabak etc. were taxpaying state of Gupta Empire. The state of Samatata was comprised of the area of Comilla-Noakhali of south-east Bangladesh. Some scholar believed that Dabakis identical with Dhaka. Although some silver coins of the Gupta rulers have been found but they mainly issued gold coins. Gupta gold and silver coins have been found from some of the archaeological sites of Bangladesh. There are some silver coins of the Gupta rulers

  6. Collections of Gold Coin:

    A bunch of gold coins have been showcased in Taka Museum. Kushana gold coins are the earliest gold coin found in Bengal. Gold coins of Kushana emperor Huvishka, Basiska, Vasudeva and Kidara Kushana along with Chandragupta II, Abbasid Khalifas’ gold dinara.

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