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Stratum Plus. 2001-2002. №6

N. A. Khan (Moscow, Russia)

Trans-Caucasian Hoards of Cufic Coins Dated by Early X Century: Aspects of Record Study

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Pages: 186-201

The article studies three hoards dated by 10th century and found in Armenia, (Bzovan, 1955, with the latest coin dated by 324/935-6) and in Mugan plain in Azerbaijan (Banbashi, 1948, and Yaz-Kiragi, 1958, with the latest coin dated by 342/953-4). The author analyzed chronological, dynastic and issue-related features, by using the method of analysis of hoards containing cufic coins developed by V.L. Yanin and A.V. Fomin. The analysis revealed that they were dependent on monetary markets to different extents. The Bzovan hoard, which was an instant accumulation with a chronological span of 50 years, showed the peak of Abbasid minting, dated by 925- 936.
The Banbashi hoard is more conservative by content, since new contributions were slower here, compared to the Yaz-Kiragi hoard. It shows the peak of popularity of Buwayhid-Samanid minting. A comparison of hoards’ chronological distribution graphs showed that numismatics knows only two hoards of cufic coins of the same type, with chronological span of their typical part equal to 90 years. Study was particularly focused upon the oldest group of the hoarded coins, and also the Abbasid coins. It revealed two peaks in minting – in 283-292 and 313-322. The oldest coins in the Mugan hoards are “relics” of monetary circulation, which played the role of postponed demand for elite metal. Study of the latest chronological groups suggested existence of Buwayhid-Samanid currency stream through Derbent into Europe within 940 – 950. Study of “smaller” dynasties’ coins enabled the author to indicate different routes by which Georgian and Armenian-Azerbaijani coins penetrated into Eastern Europe.
The big chronological span of the Middle Eastern hoards tells about a deliberate retention of coins by the local population, the Abbasid coins first of all. The studied hoards enable conclusions about complex political processes in Ő c., implied by the deficit of silver in Trans-Caucasian markets in VIII – early X cc., the period that saw both heyday and gradual decline of the Arab Caliphate, expressed in the loss of secular power by the Baghdad’s Caliphs.


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