Chinese villager unearths 2,000-year-old coins

Beijing: A Chinese villager in the country's northwest has unearthed 459 kilograms of ancient coins while building a house.

The villager, surnamed Zhang from Nanzuo Village of Xingping City, was leveling the land last Saturday in Shaanxi province when he found a hole half a meter deep.

Three kinds of copper coins, some rectangular and others round, were stored inside. All the coins had a hole at the centre. Xingping police were called to the site and took the coins.

Feng Pengru, a police officer with the cultural relics inspection detachment, told state-run Xinhua that the coins were from the Xin Dynasty (9 AD-23 AD). Wang Mang, an official from the Han Dynasty (202 BC-220 AD), seized the throne to found the Xin Dynasty following his regency.

The capital of Xin was at Xi'an in Shaanxi, then called Chang'an. The Han Dynasty was later reestablished after Wang's death.

Wang launched a currency reform during his reign, during which he issued various coins. The bold reform only aggravated the financial crisis. The coins found in Nanzuo Village will be cleaned and evaluated by archaeologists and given to the local museum.

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