Dirham Mint Output of Samanid Samarqand and its Connection to the Beginnings of Trade with Northern Europe (10th century)
By Roman K. Kovalev
Histoire & mesure, Vol.17 n.3/4 (2002)
Abstract: An examination of 14,865 Samanid dirhams struck in Samarqand from 634 hoards discovered in western Eurasia dating from the tenth to the eleventh centuries shows that these coins were destined mainly for trade with northern Europe. Samarqand was a primary Samanid mint that issued dirhams during most of late ninth and tenth centuries, but its most intense years of production occurred from the 910s to the mid-920s. By 954, 92.26% of all dirhams issued in Samarqand by the Samanids had been struck. The beginnings of dirham production in Samarqand in the early 890s and the sharp increase in production in the following two decades closely correspond with the rise of commerce between northern Europe and Central Asia which initiated in ca. 900. The catastrophic drop in mint output from the second half of the tenth century can be attributed to the general decline in the Samanid economy that began with the fifth decade of the same century.