On display

The first Islamic coins drew upon the traditions of the conquered lands that formed the Islamic caliphate. The earliest examples exhibit a combination of Sasanian features - portraits of emperors, Zoroastrian fire altars and Pahlavi inscriptions - and pious Arabic phrases, or standing figures and columns on four-stepped pedestals surrounded by Arabic, Greek, or Latin inscriptions.


  • Associated people

    Ziyād b. Abī Sufyān (664-673) (ruler)
  • Date

    early 670s AD
  • Denomination


  • Object type

  • Design

    Bust of Khusraw II facing right, to left downwards Pahlavi inscription, to right downwards Pahlavi inscription (ruler name), earring: three pellet triangle, breast ornamentation: three pellet triangle, enclosed by double beaded circle, margin divided into (obverse)

    Zoroastrian fire altar centre, with two attendants right and left standing facing, at the top of the flames rising from the altar, on the left a small star and on the right a small crescent, Pahlavi inscription to left downwards (date), Pahlavi inscriptio (reverse)

  • No. of items


  • Museum location

    First floor | Gallery 31 | Islamic Middle East
  • Museum department

    Heberden Coin Room

  • Accession no.


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Further reading

Album, Stephen, and Tony Goodwin, Sylloge of Islamic Coins in the Ashmolean: The Pre-Reform Coinage of the Early Islamic Period, Volume 1, Sylloge of Islamic coins in the Ashmolean Museum (Oxford: Ashmolean Museum, 2002), no. 242

Reference URL

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