Elephant and Svastika (small)

Ancient Lanka - Anuradhapura-Ruhuna Period

A fragment small rectangular(?) cast copper coin with a elephant standing facing right on obverse and a railed Svastika on the reverse. Found at various archaeological sites in Anuradhapura and Jaffna.

Height11.7 mm
Width14.5 mm
Thickness2.0 mm
Weight1.03 gms
elephant_svastika_frag_obverse elephant_svastika_frag_reverse
Codrington #10; OBRW H.21?

Obverse : Elephant standing facing right with trunk pendent, (in a single line frame).
Reverse : Railed Svastika revo;ving left (not very clear)

Bopearachchi and Wickremesinhe in Ruhuna, An Ancient Civilization Re-visited illustrates four copper coins from Akurugoda of similar type H.19 to H.22 (12-15 mm, 0.5-2.0 gms). Codrington PL.10. is similer.

These coins are a lot smaller and lighter than the more famous large round Elephant and Svastika coins which are on average 31-39 mm in diameter and weigh 16-19 gms.

I note however a fairly close similarity in size and weight with the Pandya inspired coins before circa 250 AD of the ancient Kindom of the Cheras of Kerala. The reverse could be a not clear Stylised Bow and Arrow symbol of the Cheras. (see Mitchiner #800).
I am ammused that the "Bow and Arrow" symbol was adopted by the nationalist political party Sihala Urumaya in Lanka in General elections of 2000 October 10th.

The coin was scanned at 600dpi and displayed at 500dpi. It was obtained in 2000 August from Rajah Wickremesinhe an Author and collector in Colombo, Lanka. He had purchased it in 1987 from a trader in Anuradhapura.

Text edited from
* Ceylon Coins and Currency By H. W. Codrington. Colombo 1924
  Page 22 Chapter III - Ancient Coins - Elephant and Svastika. Pl 10