Skip to comments.Ancient Chinese coin found on Kenyan island by Field Museum expedition
Posted on 03/14/2013 11:12:05 AM PDT by Red Badger
A joint expedition of scientists led by Chapurukha M. Kusimba of The Field Museum and Sloan R. Williams of the University of Illinois at Chicago has unearthed a 600-year-old Chinese coin on the Kenyan island of Manda that shows trade existed between China and east Africa decades before European explorers set sail and changed the map of the world.
The coin, a small disk of copper and silver with a square hole in the center so it could be worn on a belt, is called "Yongle Tongbao" and was issued by Emperor Yongle who reigned from 1403-1425AD during the Ming Dynasty. The emperor's name is written on the coin, making it easy to date. Emperor Yongle, who started construction of China's Forbidden City, was interested in political and trade missions to the lands that ring the Indian Ocean and sent Admiral Zheng He, also known as Cheng Ho, to explore those shores. "Zheng He was, in many ways, the Christopher Columbus of China," said Dr. Kusimba, curator of African Anthropology at The Field Museum.
"It's wonderful to have a coin that may ultimately prove he came to Kenya," he added. Dr. Kusimba continued, "This finding is significant. We know Africa has always been connected to the rest of the world, but this coin opens a discussion about the relationship between China and Indian Ocean nations." That relationship stopped soon after Emperor Yongle's death when later Chinese rulers banned foreign expeditions, allowing European explorers to dominate the Age of Discovery and expand their countries' empires.
The island of Manda, off the northern coast of Kenya, was home to an advanced civilization from about 200AD to 1430AD, when it was abandoned and never inhabited again. Trade played an important role in the development of Manda, and this coin may show trade's importance on the island dating back to much earlier than previously thought.
"We hope this and future expeditions to Manda will play a crucial role in showing how market-based exchange and urban-centered political economies arise and how they can be studied through biological, linguistic, and historical methodologies," Dr. Kusimba said. Provided by Field Museum search and more info website
This Feb. 8, 2013 provided by The Field Museum in Chicago shows a rare, 600-year-old Chinese coin that scientists from Illinois discovered on the Kenyan island of Manda. The museum announced the discovery Wednesday, March 13, 2013, The coin is made of copper and silver and has a square hole in the center so it could be worn on a belt. Scientists say it was issued by Emperor Yongle of China who reigned from 1403-1425 during the Ming Dynasty. (Courtesy The Field Museum, John Weinstein)
The coin was found along with a receipt that said, "Laundry will be ready on Tuesday".......
Heads, I win!
Should not be a surprise.
China was everywhere except north america.
“...then we stopped headhunting because the Chinese were willing to hunt heads 20 hours a day for six cents an hour. So all the headhunting went offshore.”
Interesting question whether this coin arrived by trade or by the Cheng Ho expedition itself. Thanks for the post!
The reason for the square hole was so it could be worn on a belt. This may be the world’s oldest example of money laundering...........
They have some maps that pre-date Columbus that depicted North America so they made it here too.
Pre-Colombus map from China.
Wasnt there pots found in California from China?
There is a book name “1421: The Year China Discovered America.”
The timeline fits.
This doesn’t prove squat about the Chinese being in Africa... it only proves that a Chinese coin was in Africa. Coins travel great distances from one hand to the next; it may have taken a hundred transactions for this coin to get from China to Africa.
Neat. Thanks for sharing. I guess they thought baja was an island. Perhaps it was back then.
I'd tend to agree with that statement.........
I saw that but if you read my link it says it is a hoax.
Obama would spend this coin in a heartbeat.
That book is not generally accepted as factual.
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