The Causes of Hellenistic Coins Imitation in Sogdiana

Naimark A. I.

Sogdian coinage started with a series of imitations following three types of Hellenistic coins. We have only the terminus post quem for their appearance, the dates of their Hellenistic prototypes. The area of circulation of each series should fairly well correspond to the geographic borders of an independent political entity responsible for the issue of particular series. However, the discovery of an imitation with a type of Alexander from the area of Ancient Kesh does not imply precise localisation of this coinage within the Kashka-Darya valley and remains a task for the future, when more material is available. Sogdian imitations of drachmas minted in Bactria under Antiochus I (281–261 BC) eventually developed into the so-called «Samarkand Archer» type and differed from other partly simultaneous and independent branches of this type: coins with the head of the ruler facing left and the Hyrcodes coinage. However, without a new fundamental classification it is im- possible to establish whether those parallel lines existed from the very beginning of imitative coinage or they branched from the main stem at different stages. Euthydemus’ tetradrachma used as a prototype for Bukharan imitative series was the main «international currency», and thus both international trade and indemnity paid to neighbour- ing nomads could have brought it to the Bukharan oasis. The appearance of imitations there does not prove that Euthydemus ever had this region under his control.

Keywords: numismatics, Sogdian coin, Hellenistic coins imitation, Bukhara oasis, Bactria