Ancient India, Gandhara, Pushkalavati, Local Civic Coinage (185-165 Bce), 1 1/2 Karshapana(C)

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Gandhara, a center for Buddhist teaching, had been a province of the Persian Achaemenid Empire until its conquest by Alexander the Great, with the decline of the Mauryan Empire that followed, many of its cities asserted their independence. As a symbol of this autonomy, the city of Pushkalavati, struck a local coinage just prior to the expansion of the Graeco-Bactrian kingdoms into the region. The square fabric and weight standard of this coinage are native Indian but the designs are influenced by Greek naturalistic art, an early expression of the Greco-Buddhist tradition that the region is famed for.

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