Chinese Boy Finds 3,000-Year-Old Bronze Sword In River

| by Amanda Schallert

A boy in China recently discovered a 3,000-year-old sword from either the Shang or Zhou dynasties as he was washing his hands in a local river.

Yang Junxi, 11, said he felt the tip of the bronze weapon in the Laozhoulin River in Gaoyou County, according to BBC News and a Xinhua news agency.

Yang then removed the 10-inch artifact from the rushing water and took it home, where it drew the attention of locals. After a while, the Junxi family sent it to state officials to learn more about where it came from.

"Some people even offered high prices to buy the sword," said Jinhai Junxi, Yang’s father. "But I felt it would be illegal to sell the relic."

According to archeologists, the sword is likely from the beginning of Chinese civilization. Based on the design of the sword and the materials from which it was made, archeologists have inferred that the weapon was not used for fighting, and instead was kept mostly for show. Individuals who were alive at the time of the Shang or Zhou dynasties might have carried the relic as a status symbol, archeologists said.

Officials have rewarded Yang and his family for turning in the bronze sword, and they plan to start searching the river for more artifacts. The river is reportedly one of the waterways that was part of an ancient transportation system.

Source: BBC News, Image Credit: