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Four More Gupta-period Copperplate Grants from Bengal

Abstract : A recent volume of Pratna Samiksha (New Series 6, 2015) contained the publication of two land-sale grants relating to the history of ancient Puṇḍravardhana, the first dated to year 159 of the Gupta era and the second dated to year 5 of a king Pradyumnabandhu who must have ruled in the period immediately following the disappearance of Gupta rule in Bengal. This paper will present four further copperplate inscriptions that have recently become available for study, and extend the corpus of Gupta-period land-sale grants from 12 to 16 items. As is the rule in the early epigraphy of Bengal, the grants are composed in Sanskrit. Three of the new plates are rather heavily corroded, but nevertheless largely decipherable, while only a fragment is preserved of the fourth. Among the points of interest in these new documents are several coin terms previously unattested in Bengal, or previously unattested anywhere at all in Indian epigraphy; further occurrences of the toponymic element gohālī, here interpreted for the first time as meaning ‘hamlet’; possible evidence of territorial extension into southwestern Bengal; and a donation to a group of three Jaina monasteries—the third such event we now have on record in early Bengal—with important implications for the history of Jaina monasticism.
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Submitted on : Thursday, December 13, 2018 - 1:54:26 PM
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Arlo Griffiths. Four More Gupta-period Copperplate Grants from Bengal. Pratna Samiksha: a Journal of Archaeology, Centre for Archaeological Studies & Training, Eastern India, 2018, New Series (9), pp.15-57. ⟨hal-01954015⟩



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