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Copper Coins from Iranian Towns Counter-Stamped with a Two-headed Eagle (M. Severova)

Among the copper coins autonomously struck in Iranian towns there are coins which have been counter-stamped with a two-headed eagle, emblem of the Russian Empire. A. Markov, who knew of three such coins, and after him R. Vasmer, who knew of ten, thought that these counter-stamps were connected with Peter the Great's Caspian campaign, and with the measures taken by the Russian occupying forces to regulate the financial affairs in the occupied provinces.

At the present time we know of 28 such coins, 24 of them being kept in the Hermitage. This provides us with certain additional information, enables us to see certain general characteristics and raises a number of questions, which are difficult to explain if we stick to the theory put forward by A. Markov and R. Vasmer.

The author suggests that these counter-stampings appeared in Georgia at a period encompassing the end of the eighteenth and the beginning of the nineteenth century, and produces evidence to support this view. At the same time, the author does not exclude the possibility of a different solution of the problem, if further research should discover new specimens of coins or hitherto unknown documents.

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