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Title: The coins of the Swahili coast c. 800-1500
Author: Perkins, Matthias John
Awarding Body: University of Bristol
Current Institution: University of Bristol
Date of Award: 2013
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The stone towns of the Swahili Coast are a visible reminder of once prosperous kingdoms who had built their wealth on the Indian Ocean trade. From the 19th century onward the coins found numerously at some of these towns intrigued European travellers and scholars alike. Initially, it was believed that they were remnants, like the stone towns, of a colonial Arab or Persian culture. At first only copper coins were known, with the majority coming from stray . finds from the beaches of the eroding settlements. These copper coins had Arabic writing on them spelling out a rhyming legend which continued from one side to the other. They were ascribed to the Sultans of Kilwa, while similar coins were believed to originate in ;Zanzibar. Little though was understood regarding their origin and they were primarily seen as a means to better understand the chronology of Kilwa. It is now clear that these copper coins were preceded by minute silver coins, similar in their designs and legends to the copper coins. 'Although it is clear that the silver and copper coins are an interrelated coinage, many issues remain regarding their chronology and development. There is no detailed study that has looked at this East African coinage as whole. It is here that this thesis finds its place. In the light of new archaeological material and with the results of XRF analysis carried out on the copper coins, it investigates the issues surrounding the origin, chronology and purpose of this coinage. It tries to understand the coinage not only from the perspective of the Indian Ocean, but also in its much neglected African context.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available