Century 3rd BC to 1st AD - Lanka

Ruhuna - Inscribed Coin with Tortoise symbol

Coins with animal symbols, Elephant, Lion, Horse, Tortoise, and most often indistinct Brahmi Script on reverse have been found in Akurugoda in area of Tissamaharama.

Diameter24. mm
Thickness2.7 mm
Weight2.49 gms
OBRW_E30_tortoise_obverse OBRW_E30_tortoise_reverse
Obverse : Coin in the shape of a tortoise.
Reverse : Indistinct legend in Brahmi -

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 E.30 in this book and was obtained from the author.

This coin in the shape of a tortoise is probably from the same Era of the dolphin shaped coins of the Greek world. Small, cast Bronze dolphins were made as sacrificial subjects for Apollo-Delphinium and first appeared in Olbia between 550-525 B.C. Soon they became currency, with a flat inscribed side, employed by the Miletian settlers as a primitive money, circulating around 430-410 BC,

Marine shapes including the tortoise and fish were used as coins more recently in Malacca.

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.