Dick Hanscom and Arthur Shippee passed along this story about a Chinese coin found in Kenya. Thanks!
Scientists have found a rare, 600-year-old Chinese coin on the Kenyan island of Manda that rewrites the history books on international trading.
Researchers say the copper coin, which has a square hole in the center so it could be worn on a belt, proves trade existed between China and eastern Africa decades before European explorers set sail.
Scientists say it was issued by Emperor Yongle of China who reigned from 1403-1425 during the Ming Dynasty, and his name is written on the coin.
A joint expedition of scientists led by Chapurukha Kusimba of The Field Museum and Sloan Williams of the University of Illinois at Chicago found the 600-year-old Chinese coin on the Kenyan island of Manda.
Scientists from Kenya, Pennsylvania and Ohio also participated in the expedition. They also found human remains and other artifacts predating the coin.
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.
To read the complete article, see:
The 600-year-old coin that proves China was trading with East Africa BEFORE Europeans arrived
Wayne Homren, Editor
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