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The increasing interest of numismatists in the enormously rich legacy of coinage coming to light in India soon began to reveal that a large part were issues of rulers using the epithet “The Kushan.” This coinage included a spectacular sequence of gold pieces, clear evidence of a kingdom enjoying huge prosperity (see COINAGE).Soon afterwards, as progress was made in the recovery and interpretation of lapidary inscriptions in India, it was found that many of these made mention of the same rulers named on the coins.These languages are today extinct, and the records that attest them are thought to belong to the seventh to ninth centuries CE.Such dates reflect the closing stages of their culture, but it may be assumed that the ancestral languages, and the people who spoke them, had existed in this region since remote times (Narain, p. The time gap between these two periods of evidence is bridged by historical indications from Chinese and Greek sources for the second century BCE, relating to the Yuezhi, or, as they are later called by the Greeks, the Tochari, a powerful horde who had long dominated the Kansu area, and who are plausibly identified as the ancestral speakers of the “Tocharian” dialects. They were able to contend on equal terms with Parthia, and at times even gained the upper hand over these western neighbors. Kušān, Bactrian Košano) of the 1st-3rd centuries CE. Dynastic History During the first to mid-third centuries CE, the empire of the Kushans (Mid. Kušān-šahr) represented a major world power in Central Asia and northern India.
VII), where the hunters are horse-archers with bobbed hair and long moustaches.
It is plausible to link these findings with linguistic evidence relating to the Tarim region.
Among the manuscripts recovered by Central Asian expeditions of the early 20th century were several in previously unknown languages.
It is probable, too, that the celebrated allusions in may also sometimes cover notices of the Kushans.
It was only with the advance of modern research during the 19th century in India and Afghanistan, and later in Central Asia, that the true importance of the Kushans began to be recognized.