Child Finds 3,000-Year-Old Sword in Chinese River

A Chinese boy has stumbled across a 3,000 year old bronze sword in a river in Jiangsu Province, the Huffington Post has reported.

11-year-old Yang Junxi was washing his hands in Laozhoulin River in the eastern coastal province when he felt the rusted tip of an unusual object and made the astonishing discovery.

After bringing home the 26 centimeter (10 inch) sword the boy and his father decided to send the weapon to China’s relics bureau for examination by experts. Based on its dimensions, construction, and form, archaeologists determined that the sword dates back to the Shang or Zhou dynasties, the very beginning of Chinese civilization.

According to Lyu Zhiwei of the Gaoyou Cultural Relics Bureau, based on the shape of the weapon, it would have been used primarily for decorative purposes and was not built for combat. “The short sword seems a status symbol of a civil official…it is not in the shape of a sword for military officers,” she said.

The boy’s father Jinhai, told the BBC that they resisted tempting offers from interested collectors. “Some people even offered high prices to buy the sword, but I felt it would be illegal to sell the relic,” he said. The pair have since been given a reward for handing over the sword.

Following the discovery, Chinese archaeologists are preparing a large-scale archaeological excavation of the Laozhoulin river in the hope that more treasures will turn up in the ancient waterway.

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