1-2 AD Anuradhapura Ancient Ceylon GajaLakshmi Plaque Coin
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The design on the obverse is in high relief, and represents the goddess Lakshmi clad in a broad girdle and wearing earrings, besides two bracelets on the upper arms and three to five on the forearms; on the legs below the knee are three to five rings, with wide anklets. She stands on a large lotus, and with her hands, which are pendent, grasps two stalks of the same plant, usually springing from either side of the flower beneath her feet and ending about the level of the shoulders in a small blossom, upon each of which stands a small elephant holding a water pot in his upturned trunk, the two trunks forming an arch over her head. See this detail clearly in the plaque fragment shown above. Between the legs and the stalks are minor lotus shoots variously depicted ; one sometimes ends in a bud. The whole is in an oblong frame, occasionally double at the top, slightly rounded at the corners. At varying distance from this appears the edge of the enclosing space, which is sometimes barrel-shaped.
On the reverse is a large railed Svastika, similar to that on the coins described, revolving, except in one instance, to the right, between two symbols. Beneath are three lines, the lowest of which is often curved upwards at either end, and sometimes reaches the extremities of the railing. No frame is visible.
The original ``find'' of cast plaques was unearthed in 1917 at Alutwatta, in the town of Chilaw, at least 91 whole or damaged pieces, besides minor fragments, being discovered 2.5 feet below the surface of the soil in a chatty. Before this date the only ones of the type known were a very few found near Thuparama and in the Kiribat Vehera at Anuradhapura. Similar plaques have also since been found at Vaallipuram and Kantarodai in the Jaffna peninsula.
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