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Knife and Spade Money from State of Yan Unearthed in Hebei

A Chinese villager digging a well in his yard unearthed a large cache of knife and spade money dating to the Warring States (战国 475-221 BC) and Qin Dynasty (秦 221-207 BC) period according a recent newspaper report from Hebei Province (河北省).

This is the first time such a large and ancient hoard of coins from this time period has been discovered in Laiyuan (涞源), a town near the city of Baoding (保定).

Spade and knife money unearthed from State of Yan

Spade and knife money unearthed from State of Yan

The knife (daobi 刀币) and spade money (bubi 布币) has been identified as originating from the ancient State of Yan (燕国) which occupied the area until it was conquered by the armies of Qin Shi Huang (秦始皇) in 222 BC.

A total of 98 specimens of knife money and 161 specimens of spades were recovered.

From the picture published with the article, there appear to be both “square foot” (fang zu bu 方足布) and “pointed foot” (jian zu bu 尖足布) spades discovered in the hoard.

Unfortunately, the newspaper article does not provide larger images or any information as to the inscriptions on these spade and knife-shaped coins.

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