Start Zhou dating

Zhou dating

One additional type of bronze money from this time period consisted of small oval pieces cast in the State of Chu.

By the time of the Shang Dynasty (16th ~ 11th century BC), sea shells (cowrie) were already circulating as a major form of currency.

China achieved the ability to cast very refined works of bronze early on Based on this technology, the first metallic coins, which even included "bronze" sea shells, appeared in various forms in different regions of the country during the Western Zhou Dynasty (11th century ~ 771 BC), the Spring and Autumn Period (770-476 BC) and the Warring States Period (475-221 BC).

This spade money was cast approximately 400-300 BC during the Warring States period of the Zhou Dynasty.

The spade coin at the left has an inscription which is believed to be This is an example of a flat handled spade money from the Zhou Dynasty.

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They were white and glossy, were fairly uniform in size and weight, and, if ground flat on one side to form an opening, large numbers of cowrie shells could be easily strung together to make carrying convenient.

Because conditions for transportation and trade were very primitive at the time, cowrie shells became more and more valuable the further inland they were carried.

The characteristic of this type of spade money is that it has a round handle, round shoulders and round feet.

This type of spade money may have been cast during the late Warring States period in the States of Qin and Zhao.

This example of bone shell money has a length of 23 mm, a width of 15 mm and a weight of 2.3 grams.