Colonial imagination and identity attribution: Numismatic cues for defining space

published in H.P. Ray (eds.) Negotiating Cultural Identity: Landscapes in Early Medieval South Asian History (New Delhi: Routledge, 2015)

This paper aims to focus on the fixation in the study of early historical coins with colonial categories, i.e. the ‘imperial’ versus the ‘tribal’ coins. Under discussion here are the types of copper coins bearing the legends- janasya, gaṇasya, or janapada or the names of the issuing community. These coins, since the colonial period, have continued to be studied as ‘tribal’ coins. This paper also attempts to explore the process in which the perception of modern communities was used to understand their history and artefacts, particularly coins, by the 19th century antiquarians.


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