After Alexander of Macedon succeeded in conquering Egypt and Persia in 331 BC, his ambition to rule the known world led him further east across Bactria in Afghanistan, through the Hindu Kush mountain pass, and into India. There he succeeded in defeating all the local kings of the region until his men, on the brink of mutiny, insisted that they return to Greece. Alexander left governors in charge of his territories, and after his death in 323 BC, his governors became independent kings, establishing Hellenistic cities and a Greek cultural base in the region, which lasted for almost 200 years. Native Indian coinage was marked with symbols associated with the place where they were issued.

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  • Title: Punch-Marked Coin
  • Date Created: 400-300 BC
  • Physical Dimensions: Overall: 1.4 x 1.2 cm (9/16 x 1/2 in.)
  • Provenance: Sri B. D. Dwivedi given to the Cleveland Museum of Art, The Cleveland Museum of Art, Cleveland, OH
  • Type: Coins
  • Rights: CC0
  • External Link: https://clevelandart.org/art/1967.243.b
  • Medium: silver
  • Fun Fact: Early Indian coins were cut in irregular shapes and punched with a wide range of marks. The deep punches would prove that the coin was pure silver all the way through.
  • Department: Indian and Southeast Asian Art
  • Culture: India, Rajasthan, Maurya Period (322-185 BC)
  • Credit Line: Gift of Sri B. D. Dwivedi
  • Collection: Indian Art - Maurya
  • Accession Number: 1967.243.b

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