Dear visitors,

please note that the Doctoral College (Initiativkolleg): “Cultural Transfers and Cross-Contacts in the Himalayan Borderlands” has ended and our website will no longer be updated.

For information on our ongoing research, events and activities please refer to the website of our Center for Interdisciplinary Research and Documentation of Inner and South Asian Cultural History (CIRDIS).


Univ.-Doz. Dr. Michael Alram, KHM
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PD Dr. Nikolaus Schindel, ÖAW
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Comparing the numismatic evidence with the data derived from historiographic sources often offers highly important insights into the way socio-political contacts worked in reality. Whereas the history written by an elite tends to be guided by particular ideologies, the coins – the actual medium of mass communication – often deliver a different message. It is especially the study of the cultural and political contacts as mirrored in coinage which is of special interest in the context of the present IK. One line of approach will be the in-depth study of chosen entities and the beginning of their respective coinages in new socio-political-religious landscapes. The transfer of images is as important as the changes in languages, alphabets and the main phrases of imperial phraseology. Whereas the aforementioned concept focuses on the coin as a conveyor of political and religious propaganda in the context of continuity and discontinuity, an alternative, but equally important approach will be to concentrate on the coin as a medium of exchange in economic terms. Here, the main topic is on the one hand metrology, metal composition and denominational standards, on the other hand distribution patterns as mirrored in coin finds. This line of research is especially interesting since it shows how monetary changes worked (or did not work) in practice as mirrored by monetary circulation in every-day life.