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Chach. An ancient medieval state which lay in the Syrdarya River basin, centered around the Tashkent oasis. Mentioned as Chachstan in Persian and Sogdian documents, as Shash - in Arab manuscripts, as Shi and Je-Shi - in Chinese written sources. In the early centuries A.D. Chach, as a small principality, was part of a semi-nomadic state of Kangui. As an independent state, it was first mentioned in 262 A. D. in a Sasanid inscription on the rock - the Zoroastrian Kaaba.
click_to_enlarge The first capital of Chach, associated with the Kanka settlement, was founded on the Yaksart-Iosha River (Syrdarya). A manifestation of Chach's independence was a local coin mintage started in the 2nd-3rd centuries A.D., when bronze scyphate (concave) coins were struck there. Their obverse showed ruler's head with hair tied up with a diadem. The reverse bore a tamgha surrounded with a three-word Sogdian legend indicating the name and title of the ruler and the name of the region.
In the middle of the 5th century it had become a part of the possessions of the Hephtalites, and in the 6th century was the site of their determined struggle against the new nomadic state - Turkic Caganate. Beginning with the 7th century the capital of Chach had moved from the banks of the Yaksart to the border with the nomadic peoples, who had become a part of the possessions. Those are Madinat-ash-Shash, and later Binket – on the territory of modern Tashkent. A significant center of urban culture had formed there, which developed on the way of Sogdian colonization and in the middle of the trade route with the orient. Chach had become a place of interaction of the Sogdian and Turkic cultures, established diplomatic ties with China.
During 7th – first half of 8th century monetary circulation of Chach could be characterized by the use of various bronze coins issued by rulers of different domains. For their obverse, images of rulers with frontal view or three-quarter view are characteristic, and for reverse - various types of tamghas surrounded by Sogdian inscriptions, which described name of the ruler, title and name of the principality. More rare are coins with dual images of king and queen, influenced of Byzantine coin iconography, and coins with images of predatory animals and camels. Turkic rulers of this region minted bronze coins with a square hole and a Sogdian legend, which consisted of only the title (probably, certain economic, or possibly, dynastic ties were reflected here) and a Sogdian legend. Highly interesting in iconographic terms are coins of the rulers of the Kabarna principality. Here we see a squatting ruler or a ruler and his queen dressed in a distinctive pointed headdress. The technology of making coins of domain Tarnavch draws interest. Along with coins made using minting technology, here present are cast coins, which are based on the same struck coins.
Rather varied is the portrait gallery of the Turkic rulers, and the technique of their artistic execution.
With the arrival of Arabs into Central Asia, the type of coins of Chach changes; they take on the appearance of coins minted in the Caliphate.


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