Trang chủ » blog » Chemical studies of Chinese coinage II: from Qin to Yuan (221 BCE–1368 CE) – Heritage Science

Chemical studies of Chinese coinage II: from Qin to Yuan (221 BCE–1368 CE) – Heritage Science

The chinese literature on chinese coinage is extremely extensive, including the work of Zhou Weirong, Dai Zhiqiang and many others. Wang [ 4 ] gives an overview of the early european lyric literature on chinese numismatics, including a short initiation to key earlier works in Chinese. More recent information can be found in a few early references [ 5 ] [ 6, 7 ], vitamin a well as journals such as Zhongguo Qianbi (China Numismatics). A standard introduction to the cast copper-based neologism of China in English is the make of Hartill [ 8 ]. table 1 gives the approximate dates of the respective dynasties between Qin union in 221 BCE to the end of the Yuan ( Mongol ) Dynasty ( 1368 CE ). When Qin Shi Huang Di united China the dominant small currentness gradually became the circular copper mint with a square cardinal hole, known as Ban Liang ( 半两 ), replacing the earlier coinage in the shape of knives and spades, but hush manufactured by casting quite than striking. The Ban Liang coin typically weighed around 8 gigabyte, although the burden was reduced over fourth dimension ( Hartill, 2005, 83 ). soon after the start of the succeeding western Han Dynasty ( 206 BCE–9 CE ), private mints were allowed to cast little “ elm seed ” coins ( Yu Jia 榆荚 ) alongside the official Ban Liang coinage. In 119 BCE, the Ban Liang was replaced by the San Zhu ( 三铢, of weight approximately 2 g ), and from 118 BCE, the Wu Zhu ( 五铢weighing around 3.25 guanine : Hartill ( 2005, 85 ) ). The usurper Wang Mang, who founded the Xin dynasty ( 9–23 CE ), reformed the currency, reintroduce spade and knife coins. Towards the end of his reign, he introduced the Huo Quan ( 货泉 ), a coin of alike form to the Ban Liang but normally weighing around 3 guanine, to replace the Western Han Wu Zhu neologism ( Hartill 2005, 86 ). The Huo Quan continued in circulation into the regenerate Eastern Han Dynasty ( c. 23–220 CE ), but Wu Zhu coins continued as the main copper neologism until the end of the sixth century CE ( Fig. 1 ) .Table 1 Sources of data for this paper, and the number of analysed coins per dynasty Full size boardFig. 1figure 1 modified from Hartill, 2005 )

Some coins mentioned in the text ( 1 Han dynasty Wu Zhu, 2 Han dynasty San Zhu, 3–6 Han dynasty Yu Jia, 7 Wang Mang Da Quan Wu Shi, 8–9 Tang dynasty Kai Yuan Tong Bao, 10–11 Later Zhou dynasty Zhou Yuan Tong Bao, 12–13 Song dynasty Jian Yuan Tong Bao ( battlefront and back ), 14 Song dynasty Jian Yan Tong Bao ( front and back ), 15 Jin dynasty Da Ding Tong Bao, 16 yuan dynasty Tian Qi Tong Bao, Full size prototype The Eastern Han was followed by the Three Kingdoms ( Wei, Shu and Wu : 220–280 CE ), with a short period of union in the confederacy under the Jin Dynasty ( 266–420 CE ), and the Sixteen Kingdoms in the north. This was followed by a further time period of significant atomization known as the Northern and Southern Dynasties ( 386–589 CE. Unification was again achieved under the Sui Dynasty ( 581–618 CE ). Wu Zhu coins continued to be issued during these periods, frequently minted by the discriminate states. The Sui besides used Wu Zhu coins, minted at different places. After 605 CE, individual mints were besides established, resulting in a deterioration of the coinage. The Tang Dynasty ( 618–907 CE ) introduced the Kai Yuan Tong Bao ( 开元通宝 ) in 621 CE, which became the standard neologism for the adjacent 300 years. The weight was about 1.5 g. Both copper extraction and mint mint were state controlled, with private mint punishable by death or diverse other penalties [ 8 ]. For the foremost time that we know of, the constitution of coinage alloy was recorded, in this case as 83 % copper, 15 % lead and 2 % tin. This composition derives from the ancient document New Book of Tang ( 新唐书, written in the Song dynasty ). In the section of Shihuozhi ( 食货志, Record of Goods ), it notes that every furnace in each cast/pouring produced 3,300 strings of coins ( ca. 3,300,000 coins ), from 21,200 jin of copper, 3,700 jin lead and 500 jin tin ( 1 jin ( catty ) is approximately 600 gigabyte ), employing 30 craftspeople. This recipe gives the writing quoted, assuming no losses. The reference is besides confirmed by another record from chapter nine of Tongdian ( 通典, written in the Tang dynasty ), which says every cast ( of coins ) used approximately 21,210 jin of copper, 3709 jin of ashen lead, and 540 jin of black. however, consecutive Tang Emperors had to constantly reaffirm the regulations by releasing new policies or punishments, and exchange those forgeries circulating in the market with either goods ( for example, crops, textile ) or genuine coins. Following the establishment of a commissioner for coin cast in 737 CE, ten-spot mints were recorded in 739 CE, with a total of 89 furnaces producing 327,000 strings of cash a year ( See New Book of Tang : incision Shihuozhi ; besides Hartill ( 2005, 103 ) ). Cash is the terminus used for all types of chinese round coinage with a square central hole, and a string was nominally 1000 cash ( about 1.5 kg of metallic ). From the late 740 sulfur, the previously-employed conscript workers were replaced by skilled artisans for mint casting [ 8 ]. however, dearth of copper over the future hundred ( evidenced by restrictions on how much cash could be held by each family [ 9 ], resulted, by 834 CE, in the end product of official mints falling to 100,000 strings of cash a year.

During the Great Anti-Buddhist persecution of the Tang Emperor Wu Zong ( 842–845 CE ), a capital many Buddhist monasteries and temples ( 46,600 ) were destroyed and their place confiscated [ 9 ]. Monasteries and nunneries had previously been tax excuse, and, under the edict of 845 CE, monks and nuns were required to hand over their wealth to the government unless they returned to lay life and paid taxes. The impound copper bells, gongs, cense burners and statues were used to cast coins in local mints under the control condition of the provincial governors. When he ascended the Throne in 847 CE, the succeeding Emperor, Xuānzong, as share of his flush of the Court, revoked the decree, and it is said that the new coins were recast to make refilling Buddhist statues. The fall of the Tang in 907 CE was followed by a period of disunity, known in northern China as the Five Dynasties, which were ephemeral but ruled consecutively, and in the confederacy as the Ten Kingdoms, which were overlapping. During the Later Zhou ( 951–960 CE ) of the Five Dynasties, in 955 CE, once again a deficit of copper restricted the provide of coins, so the Emperor Shi Zong prohibited households from holding bronze utensils [ 8 ], and again used re-melted Buddhist bronze statues from 3356 Temples to make coins. These coins ( Zhou Yuan Tong Bao, 周元通宝 ) were believed to have spiritual powers inherited from the Buddhist statues, and were subsequently much-copied [ 10 ]. In the south, cast cast-iron and cast lead coins appeared during the Ten Kingdoms.

At the conclusion of the Five Dynasties, in 960, mutiny ended the reign of the Later Zhou, and established the Northern Song Dynasty ( 960–1127 CE ), which again unified China and her currency. In 1019, the writing of neologism alloy was reported as being copper 64 %, star 27 % and tin 9 % ( see Wenxian Tongkao, Chapter nine, Coin II, written in the Yuan dynasty ). This currency was established using the output of fresh copper mines, and by the Yuanfeng period ( 元丰, 1078–1085 CE ) of the Emperor Shenzong, over five million strings of tan coins a class were produced by 17 unlike mints ( Hartill 2005, 125 ). The southerly Song dynasty ( 1127 -1279 ) was established when the Northern Song capital at Kaifeng was taken by the Jurchen Jin dynasty in 1127 and the song government fled south to Hangzhou. The southern Song neologism was lower in timbre compared to the coins of the Northern Song dynasty because of the miss of available copper sources, and mint was frequently interrupted. For exercise, copper utensils were confiscated in 1136, and the criterion of coinage was reduced to a copper content of 54 %, with c. 5 % canister and the balance lead [ 8 ]. From 1180 onwards, coins began to carry a number corresponding to the year of mint. The Liao dynasty created by the Khitans in Northern China and adjacent regions of Mongolia, North Korea, and the Russian Far East from 907 until 1125 when most of their territory was conquered by the Jurchens who established the Jin dynasty ( 1125–1234 CE ). liao coins are alike in appearance to the cash of the Song dynasty but with unlike inscriptions, and are said to have been made of ‘ crimson copper ’ [ 8 ]. The Jin dynasty used newspaper money, but began to produce cash coins in 1158, replacing the coins of the Liao and Song dynasties. An decree was issued in 1161 to ban the melting down of coins to make utensils, and new copper mines were sought to increase the copper supply [ 8 ]. The Tangut Xi Xia Empire extended over north-western China from 1032 until 1227 CE, when it was destroyed by the Mongols. The neologism of Xi Xia was superior in casting quality compared to that of the Liao dynasty, but was alone produced in any quantity between 1149 and 1193 CE [ 8 ]. The Mongol conquest of China began when Genghis Khan attacked the Xi Xia in 1209, and in 1271 Kubilai Khan declared the Yuan dynasty as the name of the Mongol khanate that ruled over all of China from 1271 to 1368. The southerly Song Dynasty last surrendered in 1279. The Mongols allowed for the continuance of locally minted copper currency, equally well as permitting the continued use of previously created and older forms of currency. Paper money, first used in the Tang, became common currency during the Song dynasties and the Yuan, frequently to cover for times when copper was in inadequate provision .

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