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0182 Archaeological Researches in Sinkiang : vol.1
Archaeological Researches in Sinkiang : vol.1 / Page 182 (Grayscale High Resolution Image)

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doi: 10.20676/00000195
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Two samples, not illustrated here, have special marks : short ridges radiating from the corners of the hole on the reverse K. 13379 : I I, and a "nailmark" on the obverse K. 13421 : I.

The cash strings Pl. 31 : I consist, as far as can be judged, of the ordinary Wuch'u coin. Nos. 26 : 1-5 are covered with thick incrustations, but the size is that of the normal Wu-ch'u.

There are two samples of a coin of Wu-ch'u type lacking the outer rim, and five debased Wu-ch'u such as Pl. 28 : 28-29, and one clipped Pl. 30 : 9, making in all 245 Wu-ch'u coins.

Besides these there are only two "Goose-eyes" and some trifling fragments.

We may be quite sure that what I have called the normal Wu-ch'u is a true Han issue. The chronological limits for Wu-ch'u given in numismatic works are I18 B. C. —581 A. D., but at the end of the Han dynasty the Wu-ch'u currency was rapidly debased, as is clearly visible on the specimens from here. They became smaller and of much inferior make. If the Wu-ch'u were revived again it is hardly likely that they were minted exactly after the same pattern as in the beginning of their use. Both through STEIN'S finds and my own from well dated strata we have now a fair number of undeniable Han Wu-ch'u, and the Lop-nor specimens referred to as normal Wu-ch'u are of exactly the same shape and size.

Among these finds of the then current money there are especially two which are worth consideration; they were made very near each other at the northernmost part of the delta, at HÖRNER'S camp 106 (marked 420 on the map Fig. 37). The first find bears the number K. 13421 and consists of 63 Wu-ch'u coins which were lying scattered along an area of 3o m. in length and I m. in breadth. Some of them are very thin from wind erosion.

On the occasion of Mr. CHEN'S second visit to this spot three years later still another heap of coins was found there, No. 41 : 1-13.

The other find, K. 13423, depicted on Pl. 31 : I, is a partly preserved cash string consisting of single coins or lumps of up to twenty coins adhering to one another through the thick, hard incrustations. The latter are caused by moisture. The most predominating colour is not, however, green but the dark brown of the desert patina.

These two finds of money current during the Lou-lan occupation in nearly the same place show that this region immediately to the north of the present delta was of special importance, and probably saw much traffic. Other bronze objects, too, that have been found there point in the same direction.

The Chinese coins have certainly been minted in China proper, possibly with the exception of some simple types such as the "Goose-eyes". It is impossible to give true statistics of the coins from the Lop-nor region, only that more than one thousand have been found, and that the majority consists of Wu-ch'u.