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NANCHANG, Nov. 6 (Xinhua) -- The work of the archeologist holds an almost inexplicable romance for many lay folks, but Li Xiaobin's job, admirable as it is, holds very little glamour.
Since August, crouched on a wooden board balanced precariously over a tomb bed 9 meters below, Li has spent about six hours every day meticulously counting his way through 10 tonnes of bronze coins.
The Wuzhu bronze coins were unearthed in the most complete Western Han Dynasty (206 B.C.- 25 A.D.) cemetery ever discovered in China.
Chinese archeologists announced Wednesday the discovery of the Haihunhou cemetery near Nanchang, capital of east China's Jiangxi Province. It covers some 40,000 square meters with eight tombs and a chariot burial site with walls that stretch for almost 900 meters.
The bronze coins together with more than 10,000 other gold, bronze and iron items, have been unearthed along with jade articles, wood tablets and bamboo slips.
Archeologists suspect that the main tomb is that of Liu He, grandson of Emperor Wu. Liu was given the title "Haihunhou" (Marquis of Haihun) when he was deposed as emperor after only 27 days, dethroned by the royal clan because of his lack of talent and morals
originally posted by: nOraKat
a reply to: Night Star
The coins at least are pretty much worthless.
Chinese people started using coins as currency around 1,200 BC, where instead of trading small farming implements and knives, they would melt them down into small round objects and then turn them back into knives and farm implements when needed.
It meant early coins were known as 'knife money' or 'tool money', and as people began to rely on them more for commerce they were replaced by copper coins which were of a very low value and often had holes in the middle.
The hole meant the coins could be strung together to create larger denominations, with typically around 1,000 coins on a single string being worth one tael of pure silver.