Prepare to be amazed as we uncover an extraordinary find—1.5 tons of ancient bronze coins discovered in East China, shedding light on a forgotten era of wealth and trade

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An ancient collection of coins weighing 1.5 tonnes, originating from the Tang (618-907) and Song (960-1279) dynasties, has been discovered in Jiangsu Province, located in eastern China. These coins were tied together with straw ropes and neatly arranged in organized stacks.

The underground excavation took place in Shuangdun Village, Jianhu County, Yancheng City. The entrance to the hoard was a square pit measuring 1.63 meters in length, 1.58 meters in width, and 0.5 meters in depth. Inside, the bronze coins were connected in a series using straw ropes and meticulously laid out in layers. Most of the coins belonged to the Song Dynasty.

The unearthed coins were remarkably well-preserved, with legible inscriptions on the majority of them, indicating their immense value for further study.

According to researchers, in ancient China, such hoards were often buried underground to safeguard precious items like porcelain, coins, metal tools, and other valuables.

Adjacent to the coin hoard, a total of seventy wells were also discovered. Given the proximity of the excavation site to the battlefront between the Song and Jin troops, the researchers speculate that it may have been a location for a hutted camp.

The majority of the coins within the hoard are wens from the Song dynasty. Bronze wens served as the primary currency until a copper shortage forced the Southern Song dynasty (1127-1279) to issue coins of lower quality and value. Iron was difficult to mint and quickly rusted in circulation. Due to the scarcity of bronze coins, the government was compelled to reduce military wages by half in 1161, leading to the introduction of paper money. By 1170, the state mandated that half of all taxes be paid using Huizi paper currency to fill the void left by the shortage of bronze coinage.

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