Tabaristan was a landscape in northern Persia, on the south coast of the Caspian Sea. The region long preserved independent cultural and political movements. In the 8th century, when this half drachm was struck, it was part of the Abbasid empire and reigned by Arab governors. The coins issued in Tabaristan, however, were still half drachms, the currency of the Sassanid Great Kings who had been disposed by the Arabs almost 140 years earlier. Moreover, coins were dated by the "Post-Yazdgerd Era" (PYE) in Tabaristan. That era began in 652 AD, shortly after the assassination of the last Sassanid Great King Yazdgerd III.