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 doesnt 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.
So true. The presence of that one coin proves nothing.
However, are you of the belief that the Chinese did not make it to the west coast of Africa pre-Renaissance?
I read the book a few years 6 or so years ago, so forgive me if I get some of this wrong.
The non factual parts of the story (as I have read) are the parts that discuss voyages beyond Africa. I’ve not seen (that I can think of) anything disputing that the Chinese got to Africa.
Just my recollection, so I will eat the words if I’ve misremembered.
How do they know it was Kenyan? Did they see the coin’s birth certificate ?
And no, I’m not a “coiner”
Wow! A big Chinese ship like that must have used a lot of African slaves.
The island is Kenyan, not the coin.........
No, those were from Columbia..........;^)
From your personal stash in Columbia, Mo?
Cheng Ho was a Muslim who had been castrated by the Ming Chinese--so he isn't one of Obama's ancestors.
Map includes Greenland, Australia, New Zealand, and Antarctica. Very interesting.
Not particularly. I don't know enough about the history and pre-history of that part of the world to have formed an opinion on the matter.
Guaranteed strong pots, with no stems or seeds that you don’t need...........
I don’t know why it would; there was certainly a labor surplus in China, so the cost benefit of slave import probably wouldn’t pencil out.
It was either a result of Zheng He's expedition, or trade and exchange of hands, etc.
Did you guys know that, IIRC, Zheng He's expedition was sparked by the curiosity brought about by the Arab traders, hugging coastal waters past India and on around Siam, up the coast to China an Korea? That contact with these traders caused the Chinese to become curious?
The Chinese sent out Zheng He to reverse-engineer the course, find out what was back there (Saudi Arabia? Africa? India?) Good thing the Chinese later saw little point in all that wasteful spending and abandoned the project. (Any parallel to American space program cut by Obama?)
Don't believe me?
1. Korea has Muslims, brought about by contact centuries ago with the Muslims.
2. Indonesia is the largest Muslim nation in the world. Brought about by contact centuries ago with the Muslims.
3. The Phillippines also has a Muslim population.
Yep, Muslim traders hugged the coastline and made it that far.
Muslim traders also hugged the coasts and brought trade down the east coast of Africa to the Africans in those areas. Likely also gave them the alphabetic script they use as well.
It's possible that the Chinese coin in E. Africa came from the Chinese, tracing back the route of the evil greedy 1% banksters...uh, sorry, too much TV.
Sauron (You get the picture. History is fascinating!)
A statement open to mis-interpretation. China had small trade going on with the west coast of North America, in the late 600's A.D. There are ancient Chinese documents of such trade from that period, describing flora and fauna of what is now Mexico. That's 800 years before Europeans explored.
Indeed. The problem is that there are differing accounts of history, depending on the culture telling it. Truth is often obscured by being overwhelmed by inaccurate accountings. History as recorded and told by Chinese, differs from what is told by westerners. A lot of history is not recorded in written fashion (an example are verbal stories passed down by American Indians). Heck, there are news accounts out now that the Wright Brothers flight was not the first, but took place almost three years after a German-American first accomplished a flight. The Wright Brothers had better publicists. History is rife with inaccuracies.
Could a rusty coin re-write Chinese-African history?
BBC | 18 Oct 2010 | Peter Greste
Posted on 10/18/2010 11:30:24 AM PDT by Palter
|GGG managers are SunkenCiv, StayAt HomeMother & Ernest_at_the_Beach|
Thanks Red Badger. And for the link here in FReepmail, thanks go out to a player to never to be named later. :')
I think you just coined a new term :-)
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