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March 2021

Coins Made of Turtle Shell Discovered at Famen Temple

“Kaiyuan Tongbao” coin made from hawksbill sea turtle shell

During renovation of the Famen Temple (Famensi 法门寺) in 1987, an underground “palace” was discovered under the foundation of the pagoda. This secret vault was found intact and had never been looted by grave robbers. Upon opening the vault, the archaeologists discovered remarkable treasures including the relic of a finger bone of the Buddha (释迦牟尼). [...]


Archaeological Blind Boxes and Ancient Chinese Coins

Archaeological Blind Boxes and Ancient Chinese Coins thumbnail

Staff member at the Henan Museum using a ‘Luoyang shovel’ to dig for treasure in a blind box For several years, Chinese museums have been offering archaeological blind boxes (考古盲盒) in an effort to promote and popularize archaeology to the general public. These boxes are sold in museum gift shops and are especially popular with [...]


Bodhidharma Holding a Wu Zhu Coin

Bodhidharma Holding a Wu Zhu Coin thumbnail

Bodhidharma (菩提达摩) was a Buddhist monk who came to China from Central Asia or the Indian subcontinent during the 5th or 6th centuries. Little is known about him but he is regarded as the founder of Chan Buddhism (禅) in China. Chan Buddhism eventually migrated to Japan where it further evolved into what is known [...]