Century 3rd BC to 1st AD - Lanka

Ruhuna - Inscribed Coin with Wheels symbol

Coins with Brahmi Script inscribed have so far only attested in the area of Tissamaharama. Discovery of coin moulds, money boxes and hoards at Akurugoda, is evidence that these coins were locally produced for a developed monetary system.

Diameter18. mm
Thickness1.7 mm
Weight1.93 gms
OBRW_A26_wheels_obverse OBRW_A26_wheels_reverse

Obverse : geometrical design composed of two spoked wheels with dots between outer spokes.
Reverse : Legend in Brahmi - tisaputa va??nakara?ca?na?. Son of Tissa.

Most of the coins found in Akurugoda and cataloged in 1999 by Osmund Bopearachchi and Rajah Wickramasinhe in the book Ruhuna. An Ancient Civilization Re-visited are unique. This coin is Plate Specimen A.26 in this book and was obtained from the author.


Tissa is a well kown name used by Sri Lankan Kings. A well known Ruhuna king of KavanTissa's had two sons with names Tissa and Gamini. Known as Duttha Gamini he reunified Lanka in 161 BC by defeating the south Indian Chola king Elara who had ruled in Anuradhapura for 44 years. An infamous event in Lankan History.

The text on this particular coin is retranslated and discussued by Pushparatnam in his 2002 book Ancient Coins of Sri Lankan Tamil Rulers, which reprints line drawings of 12 coins from the Ruhuna catalog.

Click here for longer discussion and links to other Plate coins from this book in this collection.

The coin was scanned at 600dpi and displayed at 350dpi. It was obtained in 2000 August from Rajah Wickremesinhe an Author and collector in Colombo, Lanka.