Topics in Kushan History Kushan History

The Sites of Sapadbizes finds

For most of Sapadbizes coins the provenance is unrecorded, with the exception of four sites: Hairabad-Tepe, Zara-Tepe, Dilberdjin, Kampir-Tepe. Coins are not an exact guide to the borders of a kingdom as they often travel during trade and war. For example, Kushan coins have been found in Africa and Indo-Greek coins have been found in Britain. However, there is a good reason to assume that Sapadbizes coins did not travel. The coins were minted in small numbers and were probably intended as a political symbol. Local trade was conducted using imitations, Greek, Parthian and Indian coins and there was no economic need for Sapadbizes to mint his own coins. Thus, it seems reasonable to assume that the coins indicate the region of Sapadbizes rule.

A second set of coins is also of interest. Coins of Phraates IV overstruck with the image of Eucratides have been found in the same region: Tillya-Tepe, Takht-i-Sangin, Kampir-Tepe and Begram. Some scholars believe these coins were minted by a Sapadbian ruler, possibly Sapadbizes himself. If that is the case then they might also be useful in plotting the boundary of the Sapadbian kingdom. In general they agree with the finds of Sapadbizes coins, indicating a kingdom in west Bactria centred on the river Oxus, though there is a single stray find at Begram.
Evidence for Sapadbizes Sites of Coin Finds Chinese Sources
Overstrikes of Phraates IV Dating the Coins Bibliography
Main Page
Chronology of Kushan History Contacting the Author
© Robert Bracey, 2001