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3,000 Tang Dynasty ‘Kai Yuan Tong Bao’ Coins Unearthed in Xinjiang

Archaeologists have unearthed more than 3,000 coins dating from the Tang Dynasty in the ancient Silk Road city of Kucha (库车县) located in China’s far western region of Xinjiang (新疆维吾尔自治区).*

"Kai yuan tong bao" coin unearthed in ancient "Silk Road" city of Kucha

“Kai yuan tong bao” coin unearthed in ancient “Silk Road” city of Kucha

The China News (中新网), in an article published on April 25, 2013, reports that the Kucha Bureau of Cultural Relics (库车县文物局) was informed of the discovery at a construction site on April 23rd.

A team of archaeologists was dispatched and more than 3,000 coins were recovered.

At the time the report was filed on April 24th, the site was being managed by staff of the Kucha Bureau of Cultural Relics and the Qiuci Bureau of Public Security (龟兹公安分局) and coins were continuing to be dug up.

More than 3,000 Tang Dynasty coins were recovered

More than 3,000 Tang Dynasty coins were recovered

Ms. Yin Qiuling (尹秋玲), a cadre with the Kucha Bureau of Cultural Relics, informed the reporter that all the coins have the inscription kai yuan tong bao (开元通宝) and were cast during the Tang Dynasty (618-907) more than 1,300 years ago.

She added that although the coins had been buried for more than a thousand years and had acquired a patina, the inscriptions could still be clearly read.

The coins were found scattered in an area 10 meters long by 5 meters wide.

Ms. Yin stated that Qiuci (Kucha) was an ancient Buddhist kingdom on the ancient Silk Road and that this discovery of such a large number of Tang Dynasty coins is important to the research of the economic, political and historical relationship between Qiuci and Tang Dynasty China.

*Update as of May 2, 2013: News agencies are now reporting that the number of ‘kai yuan tong bao’ coins unearthed is nearly 10,000!

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