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16th Oxford Symposium

Indian Numismatics, Epigraphy and Archaeology: Recent Advances in Reconstructing the Past

This event was organized by Shailendra Bhandare and held from the 15th to 17th of October 2004. It was well attended with speakers from a variety of institutions. 

Several of the papers that were of interest to Kushan studies and that by Joe Cribb will have a profound impact upon the understanding of Kushan chronology. The papers will be edited and released as a collection in about two years (fingers' crossed), and I will refrain from further comment on them until they are available. However, I will comment on the general implications for Kushan Chronology.

Kushan Chronology

What became very obvious over three days, with such a large number of Kushan specialists present, was that the basic framework of the chronology is now far better established than it was in the past. Though a lot of tinkering at the edges remains to be done everyone who has worked directly on the problem was confident, to within about 10 years, of the chronology. This is a remarkable step from the 1960 conference where the range under discussion was nearly 200 years. This represents both new sources and the meshing together of the last 40 years of intensive study. 

The Azes-Vikrama Era

One of the effects of putting the Kushan era on a much more solid basis is to provide a backbone for further research. The other effect is to challenge the chronological foundations of related periods. One of these is the equation of the Azes era to the Vikrama era of 58BC. And there is no doubt that in the next few years the site of chronological debate will focus on the fixing of the Azes era to a specific year (and quite possibly not the 58BC it has previously been assigned to). 

Papers

Osmund Bopearachchi 'More Questions and Less Answers: Pre-Kushan Chronology Revisited'
Bob Senior 'The Pre-Kushan Period in Gandhara'
Christine Frohlich 'Homonymous Indo-Scythian Kings: One or Two Azes?
Himanshu Prabha Ray 'The Legacy of Alexande's Campaign: Archaeology of Northwest India'
Elizabeth Errington 'Chronological Implications of the 'Yona Era' Inscription'
Harry Falk 'The name of Vima Takhto on Coins and Epigraphics'
Joe Cribb 'The Kushana Mint System and Chronology'
Muhammad Nasim Khan 'Kidara Occupation of Gandhara: A Study Based on Numismatic Evidences from Kashmir Smast'
Derek Kennet 'Early Historic Archaeological Chronology and the Analysis of Coins from Archaeological Deposits'
Shailendrea Bhandare 'Linking the Past: Indian Questions, Gandhara Evidence'
Amiteshwar Jha 'Predecessors and Contemporaries of the Satavahanas in the Deccan and Central India: a Numismatic Overview'
Akira Shimada 'Chronology of the Amarvativ Limestone Railing: Reconsidering the Synchronism with the Satavahanas'
Michael Willis 'Udayagiri: The Archaeology and Politics of Time'

 


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Robert Bracey.