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30 September 2014
Chinese boy discovers 3,000-year-old bronze sword

An 11-year-old boy discovered the sword in July while playing near the Laozhoulin River, northwest of Shanghai. While washing his hands in the river, he touched the tip of something hard and fished out the metal sword. He took it home and gave it to his father, who sent the sword to the Gaoyou Cultural Relics Bureau.
     Initial identifications found the 26 centimetre long yellow-brown sword could be dated back more than 3,000 years, around the time of the Shang and Zhou dynasties, said Lyu Zhiwei, head of the cultural relics office of the bureau. "There was no characteristic or decorative pattern on the exquisite bronze sword. The short sword seems a status symbol of a civil official. It has both decorative and practical functions, but is not in the shape of sword for military officers."
     It is the second bronze artefact found in the region, after a bronze instrument was excavated in the nearby Sanduo Township.
     The Laozhoulin River crosses the course of the ancient Ziying River, which was excavated in the Qin Dynasty (221-206 BCE). It also connects with the ancient Han Ditch, the predecessor of China's Grand Canal - the world's longest artificial waterway, with a history of more than 2,400 years. The 1,794-kilometre canal forms an 'artificial Nile' from Beijing to Hangzhou in China's eastern Zhejiang Province, and is China's only north-south waterway.
     The city government has prepared a further archeological dig into the river and in the nearby areas.

Edited from Xinhuanet (6 September 2014)

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