VIRTUAL COLLECTION OF ASIAN MASTERPIECES

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Drachm
N 15552
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Why this is a
Masterpiece

Series of Kabul and Zabul bear ´Napki Malka´ inscription in pehlevi (old Persian). The reverse is copied from Sasanian coins and featured the fire altar (a Zoroastrian symbol) in the middle, with attendants on sides.

History of the Object
Hephthalites (White Huns) extricated from paying tribute to the Persian Sasanians around AD 350 and created their own independent Kingdom in north-eastern Afghan Bactria. Their expansion started from that point and continued to other parts of Bactria, Sogdiana, Pakistan and Gandhara. The Hephthalite monetary system copied the Sasanian bimetallic model with their standards and iconography. The leading denomination was represented by the silver drachm (around 4 grams). The content of silver varied and drachms with lower percentage of precious metal appeared (billon). Their obverse showed stylized portrait of the ruler to left derived from the image of the Sasanian King Peroz (AD 459-484) and inscriptions in local language.

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Type
Coins and medals 
Materials
Billon 
Measurements
Width 28.1 mm Length 27.1 mm  
Creator name
´Napki Malik´, Hephthalites: Kabul and Zabul. 
Creator date
AD 475-576 
Where it was made
Afghanistan 
Geography
Afghanistan 
Time period
AD 5th century ~ AD 5th century 
Creation date
5th Century - 6th Century; 475-576 
Function
Means of payment 
Acquisition
Acquired by the museum in 2005 
Copyright
The National Museum, Prague, Czech Republic 
Acknowledgements
 
Owner
State property, the Czech Republic 
Museum
National Museum; Nàprstek Museum of Asian, African and American Cultures 
Credit line
Courtesy the National Museum – the Náprstek Museum of Asian, African and American Cultures, Prague, Czech Republic. 

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