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August 10, 2021

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Oldest mint in world unearthed

THE world’s oldest coin-minting workshop dating back about 2,500 years has been uncovered in central China’s Henan Province.

Using radiocarbon dating, Chinese archaeologists have confirmed that a bronzeware casting workshop at the ruins of Guanzhuang in Xingyang City, the western part of the provincial capital Zhengzhou, Henan, had begun to mint standardized metal money around 640-550 BC, making it the earliest known coin making workshop in the world.

During further excavation, four types of relics related to coin manufacturing were unearthed at the site, including finished coins, used and unused coin molds as well as outer molds, said Han Guohe, an archaeology professor from Zhengzhou University.

Archaeologists have also uncovered several pits with large quantities of bronzeware casting waste, with two finished metal coins found in one.

The coins are believed to have been in circulation in the Spring and Autumn Period (770-476 BC) and the Warring States Period (475-221 BC), some of China’s earliest metal coins.


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