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Coins from Han, Tang, Song and Jin Dynasties Unearthed in Gansu

Coins from the Han, Tang, Song and Jin dynasties were recently unearthed at a construction site in Dingxi City according to a report published in the May 23, 2013 issue of the Lanzhou Morning News (兰州晨报).

Dingxi (定西) is located about 100 km east of Lanzhou (兰州) in China’s northwest province of Gansu (甘肃省).

The coin cache was discovered on the morning of May 22nd while earthmoving equipment was digging at a construction site.

Eyewitness reports state that the coin hoard occupied an area 2 meters square and 80 cm deep.  The cache was buried 2 meters below the surface.

Archaeologists from the Dingxi City Museum (定西市安定区博物馆) were sent to the site where they recovered 114 kg (251 lbs) of ancient bronze coins.

The coins are mainly from the Song Dynasty but also include some from the Han, Tang and Jin dynasties.

While no images of the site or the coins were published, the newspaper article is unusually specific as to what coins were found.

There were wuzhu (五铢) coins from the Han Dynasty.

Coins from the Tang Dynasty included kai yuan tong bao (开元通宝), minted during the years 621-907, and qian yuan zhong bao (乾元通宝) cast during the years 758-762 of the reign of Emperor Su Zong.

The majority of the coins, however, were from the Northern Song Dynasty and included coins cast by the following emperors:

Emperor Zhen Zong (998-1022):

  • xiang fu tong bao (祥符通宝 1008-1016)

Emperor Ren Zong (1022-1063):

Emperor Ying Zong (1064-1067):

Emperor Shen Zong (1068-1085):

Emperor Zhe Zong (1086-1100):

Emperor Hui Zong (1101-1125):

Also found were some shao xing yuan bao (绍兴元宝) coins cast during the period 1131-1162 of the reign of Emperor Gao Zong (1127-1162) of the Southern Song Dynasty.

While coins from the Jin Dynasty (1115-1234) were also recovered, the newspaper article does not provide additional details.

According to the archaeologists, this is the largest cache of ancient bronze coins ever discovered in Dingxi City.

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