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Schmidt's excavations.5 In the two seasons' operations at Iṣṭakhr 1,051 coins were recovered.6 "Of these the vast majority, over 900, were Islamic. 3, but of crude fabric, slightly scyphate, details obscure. Only 19 were pre-Sasanian, and, somewhat surprisingly in view of the importance of Iṣṭakhr in Sasanian times, only 60 were definitely attributable to the Sasanians. No recognizable legends, except possible traces on no. I–1–911b, c, d, e 22, 21, 21, 23; 1.60, 1.00, 1.60, 1.25. While the fortified enceinte evidently dates from the Sasanian period and continued to define the city proper in early Islam, the suburbs spread far beyond the city walls."7 A careful examination of the aerial view of the site, or of the plan with overlaid grid (Fig. 1)8 "demonstrates how relatively insignificant a portion of the total area was tested, and one can therefore reasonably assume that the almost total absence of pre-Sasanian numismatic material, the relative paucity of Sasanian coins and the preponderance of Islamic numismatic evidence is fortuitous, and that further excavations in other sections of the site might present us with quite a different numismatic pattern and a correspondingly different picture of the density and importance of the various cultural occupations."9 However this may be, the excavated coins point clearly to the importance and prosperity of Iṣṭakhr in early Islamic days: that is, in the late 7th century and throughout the 8th. One should, however, remark that these proportions are scarcely a reliable reflection of the relative importance of the several eras in terms of the area occupied or the size of the population at different times. The total area of the site is extensive: the circumvallated inner city measures 1,400 meters from east to west, and 650 meters from north to south.
Three new mints are recorded: Jūr, the specific mint name for the chief town of the district of Ardashīr-Khurrah; Tawwaj, a town near Kāzirūn in the Ardashīr-Khurrah district; and Kūrat al-Mahdīyah min Fārs, a temporary official name for Ardashīr-Khurrah.12 Some of these coins bear names of officials and fill gaps in the recorded history of 'Abbāsid administration. The distribution of mints in the hoard is of some interest. The following table shows the distribution of coins unearthed in the Iṣṭakhr excavations according to broad chronological categories: The 'Abbāsid is by far the largest class, and of this class all but ten coins (nos. Bust of king, 1., bearded; thick back hair; wearing diadem, torque and robe with fringe of vertical stripes. 521, 553, 615, 850–856) are dated, or datable, before the year 200 of the Hijrah (815 A. The preponderance of 8th century bronzes among excavation coins in the regions of the Eastern Caliphate has been remarked on before. Behind head, legend: As obverse, but legend, if any, effaced. The next most numerous category is the post-reform Umayyad, and here again we find several unpublished types: three of Iṣṭakhr, one of Sābūr, one of Shīrāz, one (or two? Only slightly less numerous are the pre-reform Arab-Sasanian coins and it is in this group that we find the most interesting material. The coins of Hormizd IV and Khosrau II were struck at seven mints: Nihāvand (4), Rayy (2), Merv (2), Nahr-Tirâ, Darabjird, Shīrajān (? Thus six different provinces are represented: Khurāsān, Sīstān, Kirmān, Fārs, Jibāl and Khūzistān (from east to west). Aside from a few dirhems which are comparable to published varieties, virtually everything in this category is new. While theoretically 'Abd al-Malik's coinage reform went into full effect in 79 H. D.), we know that a few dirhems of Arab-Sasanian type were struck as late as 84 H. D.);14 and it is not too unexpected to find that governors and mint-masters continued even later to experiment with new adaptations in their local bronze coinage. The mints represented in the Arab-Sasanian portion of the hoard are the same in number but are geographically more concentrated: Bishāpūr (14), Kirmān (3), Darabjird (2), an uncertain mint VIŠP etc. The majority, therefore, are from the province of Fārs (17 specimens at least, or 19, if, as is probable, the uncertain mint is located in that province), and the rest from the neighboring provinces of Kirmān, Khūzistān and 'Irāq.