Coins found at Delhi’s Khirki mosque may be from Sher Shah’s era
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Coins found at Delhi’s Khirki mosque may be from Sher Shah’s era

Some 254 copper coins were discovered buried just 20 centimetres below the ground at Khirki mosque in south Delhi.

delhi Updated: Sep 13, 2018 08:37 IST
Parvez Sultan
Parvez Sultan
Hindustan Times, New Delhi
Coin,Khirki mosque,Sher Shah
While cleaning the Khirki mosque compound as part of the ongoing conservation work at the 14th century building, a team of ASI’s Delhi circle had found the coins buried near the causeway along the southern wall Monday.(Burhaan Kinu/HT Photo)

The discovery of 254 copper coins, buried just 20 centimetres below the ground at Khirki mosque in south Delhi, has left conservators wondering how they remained undetected for so long. The coinage has now been handed over to the Archaeological Survey of India (ASI’s) ‘science branch’ at Red Fort for further investigation.

A senior ASI official said, “The unearthing of the coins was not surprising but how did the hoard stay unnoticed? Not too long ago, the site was a den of drug addicts ruffians.”

While cleaning the Khirki mosque compound as part of the ongoing conservation work at the 14th century building, a team of ASI’s Delhi circle had found the coins buried near the causeway along the southern wall Monday.

NK Pathak, superintending archaeologist, ASI (Delhi circle) said efforts to trace the archaeological value the coins has begun, with the circle deciding to handover the coinage to its ‘science branch’ at Red Fort. Preliminary study, he said, shows the hoard of metal currency belongs from the era of Sher Shah Suri (1538-1545) or Islam Shah (1545-1554).

“A few of the coins — which have Persians text on them — were cleaned by the science branch experts. It is believed that some of the coins belong from the days of Sher Shah Suri and his successors. After all the coins are cleaning, the process to decipher the same will start,” Pathak said.

Meanwhile, the ASI also started scientific clearing of the area under the technical supervision of archaeologists.

While removing earth at the site, conservators have also found a white stone mortar-and-pestle, generally used to grind spices.

But another ASI official said, “The mortar-and-pestle must have been put at the site later. We will investigate how this stone implement and the coins landed here. The coins can be the mosque’s property or maybe someone hid their personal wealth at the site. All of it is under investigation.”

First Published: Sep 13, 2018 03:51 IST