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Byzantine Gold Coin Found in Tomb of Emperor Jiemin of Northern Wei thumbnail

Chinese archaeologists recently completed their work excavating an ancient tomb located near Luoyang (洛阳), Henan Province (河南省), according to recent reports in the Chinese press. The archaeologists from the Luoyang Municipal Institute of Cultural Relics and Artifacts (洛阳市文物考古研究院) can be seen working in the tomb in the image at the left. The archaeologists believe that [...]

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Buy Donkey Burgers with Ancient Chinese Coins

Buy Donkey Burgers with Ancient Chinese Coins thumbnail

Now there is a restaurant in Beijing where you can spend ancient Chinese money to buy "donkey burgers" (lurou huoshao 驴肉火烧). An article in the November 26, 2012 edition of the Beijing Evening News (beijing wanbao 北京晚报) describes a restaurant that sells donkey burgers with the prices denominated in ancient Chinese money.  Donkey burgers are [...]

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“Ministers of Fire” Chinese Chess Piece

“Ministers of Fire” Chinese Chess Piece thumbnail

"Ministers of Fire" is a newly-published critically-acclaimed novel by Mark Harril Saunders which displays an ancient Chinese soldier on its dust jacket. The soldier is not a creation of a graphics designer but is actually an ancient Chinese chess piece dating back about 1000 years. The author contacted me late last year after seeing the [...]

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Coin Design Discovered on Wall Bricks from Kingdom of Min

Coin Design Discovered on Wall Bricks from Kingdom of Min thumbnail

The ruins of an ancient city wall dating from the Tang Dynasty were recently discovered in Fuzhou (福州), the capital city of China's southeastern province of Fujian (福建), according to a local newspaper article. The city wall dates back 1,100 years and is unusual because some of the bricks display the design of an ancient [...]

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“Four Happinesses” Window

“Four Happinesses” Window thumbnail

A 200-year-old carved wooden window, described as a rare and exquisite treasure, was recently discovered in a small village flea market in China's southwest Yunnan Province, according to an article in the Kunming Daily (昆明日报). Mr. Yang Anning (杨安宁), a well-known expert in ancient Chinese architecture, described the well-preserved window as a "cultural heritage gem" [...]

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Coffin Contains Coin Instead of Corpse

Coffin Contains Coin Instead of Corpse thumbnail

An article in the Suqian Evening News (宿迁晚报) reported an unusual discovery.  Chinese archaeologists excavating a multiple tomb site in Suqian (宿迁), a city in northern Jiangsu Province (江苏), unearthed a coffin with no corpse.  The only thing inside the casket was a coin. Most of the tombs being excavated at the site date from [...]

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Xian Numismatic Museum

Xian Numismatic Museum thumbnail

The official opening of the Xian Numismatic Museum (西安钱币博物馆) was announced today in a Chinese newspaper article. The new money museum is located in the ancient city of Xian (西安), the capital of Shaanxi Province (陕西).  Xian, formerly known as Changan (长安), has a history of more than 3,100 years and was the eastern terminus [...]

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Store Signs of Ancient Chinese Coins

Store Signs of Ancient Chinese Coins thumbnail

Store signs (招牌) in ancient China started to become common during the Song Dynasty (960-1127).  By the time of the Ming (1368-1644) and Qing (1644-1911) dynasties, stores had developed several types of signs to establish their identity. The first store signs consisted of a simple piece of cloth with some Chinese characters which was hung [...]

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Chinese Chess Mooncakes

Chinese Chess Mooncakes thumbnail

Chinese chess or xiangqi (象棋) is one of the most ancient forms of chess. Old Chinese chess pieces, similar to the "chariot" (車) piece displayed here, were made of bronze and can date back to the Song Dynasty (960-1279 AD). A complete set of these old Chinese chess pieces would be extremely difficult to collect. [...]

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Chinese Rock Art of “Feather Man” or Alien

Chinese Rock Art of “Feather Man” or Alien thumbnail

A giant boulder with a prehistoric carving of either the mythical Chinese "Feather Man" or an "alien from outer space" was recently discovered by archaeologists near a village in Guangdong Province. An article entitled "Guangdong's Luoding Village Discovers Rare Rock Art" describes the rock drawing as a person wearing a helmet with a feather attached [...]

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Hundreds of Spanish Silver Dollars Found in Dirt Pile

Hundreds of Spanish Silver Dollars Found in Dirt Pile thumbnail

According to a July 6, 2011 Chinese newspaper article, hundreds of old Spanish silver dollars were recently found in an abandoned pile of dirt. A villager walking down the street in Longhai Village in Fujian Province noticed something shiny in some dirt that had recently been dumped.  Picking the object up he realized it was [...]

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Ancient Chinese “Piggy Banks”

Ancient Chinese “Piggy Banks” thumbnail

China has been using "piggy banks" for thousands of years.  While these ancient coin banks were not actually in the shape of a pig and were not primarily used by children, they did serve the purpose of storing coins. Coin banks, known as puman (扑满), were originally created as a means to enforce the laws [...]

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