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Haul of feudal coins discovered in Japan


One of the biggest hauls of medieval coins ever discovered in Japan has been unearthed in Saitama Prefecture.

Haul of feudal coins discovered in Japan
A jar containing a large number of bronze coins was found at an archaeological site in Hasuda, Saitama Prefecture
[Credit: Shoichi Tanaka]
Tens of thousands of bronze coins were found in a buried ceramic jar believed to date back to the first half of the 15th century.

The jug apparently contains at least 100,000 coins and maybe up to 260,000, according to Saitama Cultural Deposits Research Corp., which found the artifact.

Researchers have so far only studied 70 of the coins, looped with string. They include 19 kinds of coins from China and elsewhere, such as the Eiraku Tsuho, Genpo Tsuho and Kaigen Tsuho.

Haul of feudal coins discovered in Japan
The ceramic jar filled with bronze coins is shown in Kumagaya, Saitama Prefecture
[Credit: Shoichi Tanaka]
“We intend to examine the coins in detail,” said a corporation official.

The unearthed Tokoname ceramic jar measures 60 centimeters in diameter and 74 cm in height. Tokoname, a city in Aichi Prefecture, is famously associated with ceramics.

The 66-cm-diameter stone lid was unearthed 2 meters below ground at the Arai Horinouchi archaeological site in Hasuda, Saitama Prefecture, last December.

Haul of feudal coins discovered in Japan
Characters are written in ink on a thin wooden tablet found near the stone lid
[Credit: Shoichi Tanaka]
A "mokkan" wooden tablet, less than 1 millimeter thick, was discovered at the edge of the lid, and “nihyaku rokuju” (260) had been written on it with an ink brush.

If the words “represent two hundred and sixty ‘kan’ (1,000 coins), the coins could total 260,000,” said an official.

Author: Shoichi Tanaka | Source: The Asahi Shimbun [March 27, 2018]

TANN

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