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Byzantine Gold Coin Unearthed in Qinghai

Xinhuanet 2002-07-03 14:12:27

ĦĦĦĦDULAN (QINGHAI), July 3 (Xinhuanet) -- A Byzantine gold coin recently unearthed in Dulan in northwest China's Qinghai Province, may shed new light on the history of East-West trade routes.

ĦĦĦĦXu Xinguo, head of the Qinghai Cultural Relics and Archeology Institution, said that the coin excavated from a tomb in XiangrideTownship in Dulan County was made during the reign of Theodosius II (408-450 AD.).

ĦĦĦĦThe tomb was for an ethnic Tubo who lived in the Northern Dynasties (386-550 AD.). This is the second ancient Roman gold coin unearthed in Dulan.

ĦĦĦĦAs sites where coins are found usually indicate then trade and traffic routes, Xu says that archeologists should think again about the east end of the "Silk Road".

ĦĦĦĦA widely accepted theory is that the road entered the Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region through present-day Lanzhou and the Gansu Corridor.

ĦĦĦĦBut Xu said that a number of recent archeological findings fromTubo tombs including this coin had shifted people's attention to Dulan County deep in the Qaidam Basin.

ĦĦĦĦHe believed that the Dulan region occupied a very important position for East-West traffic during the early and middle fifth century.

ĦĦĦĦAnd the route from Xining to Xinjiang through the Qaidam Basin, slightly to the south, may be equally important, he said.

ĦĦĦĦBefore sea routes opened between the East and the West, the Silk Road was the land corridor linking China with Central and Western Asia to the eastern shore of the Mediterranean between 100BC and 800 AD.

ĦĦĦĦExperts said that the 2.36 gm coin, with a diameter of 14.5 mm, may have been used as an ornament. Enditem

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