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Numismatic Auction 99  23 Mar 2021
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Lot 78

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Estimate: 100 USD
Price realized: 70 USD

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Hephthalites, Nezak Huns. 7th century A.D. AR drachm (33.1 mm, 2.67 g, 3 h). Balkh mint. Imitating the Sasanian type of Hormizd IV. Crowned Sasanian-style bust right, wearing bull-head ornate crown; C/M: winged camel flying left / Fire altar with two attendants and ribbons; C/M: crude legend. Göbl -. Fine. C/M's:VF. Rare Countermark.

The rare countermark on this coin has been described as both Pegasus and a winged camel, but the discovery of a Sogdian vessel with similar artwork confirms that it must be a winged camel. You can read the discussion at Zeno here: Hephthalites, also known as White Huns, were a nomadic people who lived across northern China, Central Asia, and northern India in the fourth through sixth centuries. The term Hephthalite derives from Greek, supposedly a rendering of Hayathelite (from the term Haital = "Big/Powerful" in the dialect of Bukhara), the name used by Persian writers to refer to a 6th century empire on the northern and eastern periphery of their land. As a group they appear to be distinct from the Huns who migrated to Europe in the fourth century A.D.
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