"Starvation" Dirhams of al-Uzjand, 610 AH -
a Coinage of Qarakhitai?

Vladimir Belyaev
September 11, 2000
Coin images presented by J.Farr and V.Nastich
Color of some images is not 'natural' because of scanner problems.

D = 42 mm, W = 7.9 g

D = 42.5 mm, W = 9.3 g

D = 41.7 mm, W = 9.2 g

D = 42.3 mm, W = 10.2 g

Marginal inscriptions in Arabic on both sides (except for the first word present on the reverse only): 'Adli. In the name of Allah this dirham was struck in the town of al-Uzjand in year six hundred and ten.

Reverse field (Farsi): hanan / han 'umras [be]bara / d hazar sal / ta walayat-e guru / snah sir sawa / d
May the Khan of khans live a thousand years, until the starving country becomes satiated!

Reference: V.N.Nastich. A Mysterious "Starvation" Dirham of Uzgend, 610AH - a coinage of the Qarakhita Gurkhan? - in: The Sixth Russian Numismatic Conference, Saint Petersburg, 20-25 April 1998. Abstracts of papers and communications, SPb, 1998, pp. 59-60. (in Russian).

According to V.N.Nastich's assumption, this anonymous copper dirham was issued in Uzgend by the Gurkhan ('great ruler', 'khan of khans') during the hard times when Kuchluk, khan of the Naiman, invaded into the domain of Qarakhitai [Naiman was a western Mongol tribe; Kuchluk was defeated by the Mongols under Genghis Khan after the Irtysh battle in 1209 AD - V.B.].

The Qarakhitai state, also known as Western Liao, was a realm in the Western Turkestan in 1141-1218 AD. More historical details can be found in Dr.Yih's article.

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