Eastern Roman gold coins found in 1,500-year-old Chinese tomb

Two Eastern Roman gold coins were found in a 1,500-year-old Chinese tomb in Xian, Shaanxi Province. (Photo: China News Service)

Two Eastern Roman gold coins were found in a 1,500-year-old Chinese tomb in Xian, Shaanxi Province. (Photo: China News Service)

Continuing the theme of the trade between the eastern Roman empire and China, this report points towards active trade and travel between Constantinople and China in the 6th Century.

First published in the GB Times 7 July 2017

Two Eastern Roman gold coins were found in a 1,500-year-old Chinese tomb in Northwest China’s Xian City, the Shaanxi Provincial Institute of Archaeology (SPIA) said on Thursday.

Chinese archaeologists believe that one of the gold coins was minted during the reign of Anastasius I who was the Eastern Roman Emperor from 491 to 518.

The other gold coin however is a more rare one and bears stylistic similarities to coins minted during the reigns of both Anastasius I and Justinian I, who ruled the Byzantine Empire from 527 to 565.

The Chinese tomb also included a silver coin minted during reign of Peroz I, who was the king of the Sasanian Empire between 459 and 484.

“The discovery of Eastern Roman gold coins and the Sasanian silver coin proves the long history of international trade on the Silk Road,” said Xu Weihong, a researcher at SPIA.

According to the inscription on the memorial tablet, the tomb belonged to Lu Chou who died in 538. Lu was a nobility in the Western Wei Dynasty (535-557).

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About proverbs6to10

Interested in Byzantium and Patrick Leigh Fermor
This entry was posted in Byzantium in the News and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

One Response to Eastern Roman gold coins found in 1,500-year-old Chinese tomb

  1. Amazing! This is another clue into the relationship between the Byzantine empire and China. I did research on the question of “Did the Byzantines drink tea” during my study of the Byzantine times of Justinian for my novel *Trunk of Scrolls*. I decided there was unlikelihood of them actually drinking Chinese tea, because the Chinese themselves did not really drink tea back then, either–they were still discovering it, as far as I could discover. But if money was changing hands, even from the time of Anastasius, the commerce was active. If anyone has more info on tea in Byzantium, I’d love to hear it as I’m doing research for the *Trunk of Scrolls* sequel *Dragon over Constantinople*. I LOOOOVE the amazing things these tomb discoveries uncover!!

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