A cellar containing 1.5 tons of ancient coins, including some 2,000-year-old ones, have been discovered by a villager in Changzi County, north China's Shanxi Province.
The man in Qianwanhu village discovered the cellar with some 10,000 coins, ranging from 3 cm to 1 cm in diameter, on Aug. 23 when he was digging a channel to place pipes for tap water, said Li Lin, an official of the Changzi Center of Cultural Heritage and Tourism.
The "money cellar" was 1.5 meters under the earth, with coins being piled orderly into a cuboid of 1.3 meters long, 0.65 meter wide and one meter high, Li said.
Most of the coins were made during the Northern Song Dynasty (960-1127) with the remainders made during Han Dynasty (206 BC-220 AD) and Tang Dynasty (618-907), Li said.
Many coins were in good condition, and characters on the surface were still legible, while some others were rusty. The largest coin is 3 cm in diameter and the smallest is one cm, Li said.
Archaeologists said the coins were there for three reasons: the coins were liege lords' private wealth; or they were buried by ancient Chinese private banks during war; or they belonged to rich people who buried them during war but had forgotten.
The coins have been sent to local cultural relics authorities.