A History of India Through Coins by Dr Sanjay Garg on Saturday, January 1, 2022, 5:30 PM

The history of a nation is reconstructed through the cultural vestiges of its past. These include built heritage, archaeological excavations, archival records, oral traditions, epigraphic evidence and numismatic pieces, as well as other artefacts, paintings etc. Among these, coins provide an authentic and unbiased evidence of the past. Produced for mass consumption as the currency of their age, once these small metallic pieces become non-current, they provide corroborative or, at times, solitary evidence of an event of the past. The metal or alloy used in the manufacture of these coins also provides evidence of the scientific development during that particular period.
There are many aspects of our heritage, such as development of iconography, language and script; or religious beliefs as well as reign and extent of a particular ruler, that can be authoritatively gleaned from the study of rich repertoire Indian coins. The Talk would focus on some prominent landmarks of Indian history as revealed through contemporary coins. About The Speaker

Dr Sanjay Garg is a numismatist and economic historian of international repute. He completed his Ph.D. in History, at the Centre for Historical Studies, Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi; M.A. in History from the St. John’s College, Agra University, Agra; and Post-Graduate Diploma in Archival Studies at the National Archives of India, New Delhi. He is proficient in Hindi, E
nglish, Urdu, French and Persian. He has extensive research experience in history of South Asia, with specialization on economic and monetary history, currency and coinage, architecture and archival studies. His research findings have been widely published in print and multimedia. Dr. Garg has served the National Archives of India, New Delhi in various capacities including as Deputy Director of Archives. He has been in charge of Research at the SAARC Cultural Centre, in Colombo and was the Director of the Swami Vivekananda Cultural Centre, at Nur-Sultan (Astana), Kazakhastan. At present he is the Officer on Special Duty, Azadi ka Amrit Mahotsav Secretariat, Ministry of Culture, Government of India, New Delhi.

Monolithic Pillars in India by Dr S Krishnamurthy on Dec 4, 2021

Dr Krishnamurthy will explore the origins and antiquity of the tradition of erecting monolithic pillars in India, based on pillars that were erected from circa 3rd century BCE. to 6th century CE. Monolithic pillars comprise two components - the shaft, made of a single block of stone, and the crowning capital part in the form of a deity or royal insignia or any other animal figure made of another block of stone. The earliest example of erecting a pillar-like structure is from the Vedic Age. There were many purposes behind the creation and erection of a free-standing monolithic pillar. Often the intended purpose of its erection can be more than one. The present talk examines the various causes for the installation of a pillar, analyses the inscriptional evidence and archaeological context with suitable examples. well as the importance of studying the archaeological context in collaboration with the inscriptions engraved on them to reveal their purpose. The Speaker: Dr. S. Krishnamurthy is an Assistant Epigraphist in the office of the The Director (Epigraphy) Archaeological Survey of India, Mysuru. He obtained a Masters degree in Ancient History and Archaeology from University of Madras in 2007 and completed his Post Graduate Diploma in Archaeology from Institute of Archaeology, Archaeological Survey of India, New Delhi. In 2019, he was awarded a Ph.D. by the University of Madras for his work on the “Social and Cultural History of Pallava Period as Gleaned through sculptural art (from selective temples)”. Dr Krishnamurthy, has undertaken epigraphical surveys in different states of India. He has published 28 research articles in the fields of epigraphy and art, co-authored one book entitled “Monolithic Pillars of the Gupta Period”. He has participated in numerous seminars and workshops. Currently, he is editing a North Indian Inscriptions volume, a departmental publication of the Epigraphy Branch, Archaeological Survey of India. He is the Secretary of The Place Names Society of India (Regd.), Mysuru and was the Assistant Editor of Studies in Indian Epigraphy, Vols. XLII - XLVI published by The Epigraphical Society of India (ESI), Mysuru.