[INDOLOGY] Lead cubes with Indic numeration found in Thames River

jacob at fabularasa.dk jacob at fabularasa.dk
Wed May 13 19:28:50 EDT 2020


The grids on the sides of the cubes are indeed magic squares. Every row 
of numbers, whether read orthogonally or diagonally, adds up to 36, 
which identify the magic squares as associated with Rāhu. This is also 
borne out by the inscriptions at the bottom which read: "aum rāhave 
namaḥ".

A quick search online reveals several reports of circular and triangular 
tokens with magic squares of either Rāhu or Ketu turning up in rivers in 
England, America, Canada, and New Zealand. E.g.:

[1] http://www.worldofcoins.eu/forum/index.php?topic=20365.0

[2] 
http://www.treasurenet.com/forums/what/286825-lead-elephant-coins-lead-bull-squares.html

A poster on the latter forum states that: "I saw this a few summers ago 
in St. Louis MO. There was a whole family beside the river and two were 
throwing these type coins in and a few other items. Didn't ask anything 
as you could tell they were trying to keep it private."

I did not find any reports about cubes, but the circular tokens can, for 
instance, be bought here:

https://www.nanubhaiindia.com/products/283-rahu-yantra-coin.aspx

I wonder if it would be considered inauspicious to pick them up, or 
whether they would already have served their ritual purpose (whatever 
exactly that might have been)?

Best,
Jacob

Jacob Schmidt-Madsen
Postdoctoral Researcher
University of Copenhagen
Denmark

Richard G. Salomon via INDOLOGY skrev den 2020-05-14 00:30:
> How strange! I wonder if these are "magic squares," which Allen
> Thrasher studied years ago (but I don't know if he's on this list).
> 
> Rich Salomon
> 
> On Wed, May 13, 2020 at 1:58 PM Valerie Roebuck via INDOLOGY
> <indology at list.indology.info> wrote:
> 
>> Intriguing. However, not the River Thames, but the River Sowe at
>> Coventry (the city in the MIdlands where Lady Godiva took her famous
>> ride).
>> 
>> Valerie J Roebuck
>> Manchester, UK
>> 
>>> On 13 May 2020, at 20:31, Charles DiSimone via INDOLOGY
>>> <indology at list.indology.info> wrote:
>>> 
>>> Dear friends,
>>> 
>>> Is anybody familiar with the lead cubes in the attached picture?
>>> These were intriguingly found in the Thames River recently. The
>>> story from a local periodical is here:
>>> 
>> 
> https://www.coventrytelegraph.net/news/coventry-news/mystery-60-peculiar-cubes-inscriptions-18232422
>>> 
>>> I imagine these were deposited in the river rather recently, but
>>> maybe someone knows more. I’m curious what the ritual
>>> surrounding depositing such items in a body of water might be.
>>> 
>>> All my best,
>>> Charles
>>> 
>>> --
>>> 
>>> Dr. Charles DiSimone
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