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Chinese coins from Thangassery

Coinage began in China when the universal barter was replaced by the use of certain products or objects to affect an exchange. The first Chinese currency looked in the shape of spades and knives but by 4th BCE round coins replaced spades and knives as the official currency. These round holed coins were easy to carry. Unlike the western coins that were usually die struck, Chinese coins were produced by casting technique. Chinese hoards around the world yield different coins ranging from late 2nd BCE to early 15th CE. Thousands of Chinese coins were recovered from the coastal areas of Kollam port of which some remain untraceable. A total of 1252 Chinese coins were recovered from Thangassery, Kollam and these include coins of

  • Tang Dynasty (618 -907 CE)
  • Northern Song Dynasty (960–1127 CE)
  • Southern Song Dynasty (1127–1279 CE)

Chola coins from Thangassery

The Cholas used coins in gold, silver and copper and the Chola coins were also known as the Ceylon man type. Chola coins are inscribed on both obverse and reverse. The common prototypes of coins have a standing figure holding a flower hand on the left with the right hand raised on the obverse. While the reverse has the seated figure with either Nagiri or Grandha legend.

Chola coin (