The hoard of silver punch-marked coins which forms the subject matter of this Memoir was brought to light at Patraha in the Purnea district in 1913. Enveloped in a mass of conglomerate it was lying in the bed of a small river which had been scoured by water, and the majority of the pieces had to be extricated with some difficulty. The coins were cleaned under the supervision of the late Mr. R. D. Banerji, who, as Treasure Trove Officer of the Province of Bihar and Orissa, had received them for examination from the Collector of Purnea, through Dr. D. B. Spooner of the Archaeological Survey of India. In 1914 Mr. Banerji undertook to prepare a catalogue .of the coins, but unfortunately the manuscript left by him was found incomplete in many respects and it became necessary to rewrite the whole in the light of a fresh study. The Director General of Archaeology on whom devolved the task of publishing an authoritative account of the hoard could not for sometime make any suitable arrangement and it is to be regretted that the death of a consummate numismatist like the late Mr. Banerji prevented the Archaeological Department from placing the manuscript once again in the hands of the original author. In 1937, at the suggestion of the late Mr. N. G. Majumdar, Superintendent, Archaeological Section, Indian Museum, the work was finally entrusted to Mr. P. N. Bhattacharyya, Assistant Curator of the Section and the entire hoard was placed at his disposal for examination through the kindness of the authorities of the Patna Museum to which it now belongs.
Out of a lot of 2,873 coins a selection has been made of 1,703 pieces for the purpose of this Memoir. The coins are broadly divided into three classes of which Classes II and III are sub-divided again into several groups and varieties. In the introduction the author discusses his classification and some topics of general interest concerning punch-marked coins with special reference to the present hoard. At the beginning of each section dealing with a group he has briefly drawn attention to its symbols and indicated how the different varieties under each group and the groups themselves stand in relation to one another. Twelve plates have been appended to the letter-press in order to illustrate the typical coins and the symbols appearing thereon.
Although due to various circumstances beyond our control it has taken an extraordinarily long time to bring out this publication, I have pleasure in introducing it to the numismatists in the hope that it will be found both important and interesting.
**Contents and Sample Pages**
Art & Culture (739)
Emperor & Queen (490)
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