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Post-Reform Umayyad Dirhams and their Mint Towns


This site was originally conceived as an attempt to list all the mint-names found on Umayyad post-reform silver dirhams, and give the dates recorded for each. For many years, the main reference for these coins was still Walker, published nearly fifty years ago and by now seriously out of date. Last year, however, Michel Klat completed a new catalogue of Umayyad dirhams which is more comprehensive and much more detailed than this website can hope to be. I have not yet updated this site to take Klat's new research into account - his book is easily available and until new discoveries are made there seems no point in producing a diluted and less useful version here. The existing site still covers the overwhelming majority of known mints and dates, and it is safe to assume that anything not listed here is likely to be extremely rare.

Very little on this site is new. Except for a few tentative suggestions on mint-names and locations, it is simply a compilation of other people's research. For this reason, the information here is only as good as the sources available and my ability to use them. I am sure that some mint-names that I have provisionally listed here may since have been published as mis-readings (such as al-Mudar, which is listed by Zambaur as an Umayyad mint but in one recent book has been said not to exist). In recent years, well-made forgeries of Umayyad dirhams, particularly unrecorded mints or dates, have appeared and these present another problem. Although not published on this site, I do have notes and references for every mint and date listed here and would welcome any new information that might shed further light.

Where possible, I have included a few paragraphs on the historical and geographical background of each mint. None of the standard works on the coins - including Klat's new corpus - devotes more than a line or two to this, although from a collector's point of view it is the number and diversity of the mints operating under the Umayyads which makes their dirhams so interesting. Once again, I would welcome help and information here, particularly in correcting the errors which I'm sure have crept in.

I am gradually adding pictures of coins to the site. For the moment, I am looking to get an image of one coin to represent each mint, but eventually would like to have each mint/date combination illustrated as far as possible. I would also like to replace the conventional digital photographs with line drawings, which I feel are much clearer and easier to read - particularly on a computer screen. Does anyone know of a program for converting digital photographs to line drawings?

This is still very much work in progress. My priority, particularly since Klat has covered the mint/date combinations so fully, is to provide more background information for each mint. In many cases there is information on a mint's geography and location but relatively little on its history. I have listed specific questions regarding the confirmation of dates or mint-names in the Help Wanted section, but if anyone has any other corrections, advice, suggestions or comments, I would very much like to hear from them.

Site revised and updated July 8th, 2003