Nearly 40,000 coins were collected (weighing about 1 quintal) and divided into four types.
A member of the survey team studies the ancient coins collected from the land of Le Van Co’s family in Nhan Hien hamlet
The Museum of Hai Duong province on August 11 was informed by the Division of Culture and Information of Thanh Ha district about the detection of a large number of ancient coins by people in Nhan Hien hamlet, Thanh Quang commune.
Shortly afterwards, the provincial Museum coordinated with the district Division of Culture and Information and the People’s Committee of Thanh Quang commune to conduct a field survey.
The relics were found in the front garden of the house of Le Van Co (born in 1981) in Nhan Hien hamlet.
Co said when digging soil to build paths in the garden on August 8, he detected many coins at a depth of 100 - 120 cm under the ground. After three days of searching, his family took all coins to the house yard and reported to the commune authorities.
The place where the coins were found was located in the old Hop Duc commune’s Nhan Hien hamlet. In 1925, Nhan Hien was called Hien Vong, a commune of Lai Xa canton, Thanh Ha district (according to page 18, volume I of Hai Duong Geography Book, the National Political Publishing House).
Based on historical documents, there, in 1535, King Mac Phuc Nguyen ordered his troops to dig a large canal from Mui Guom to the Huong river, connecting Thai Binh and Van Uc rivers to facilitate waterway traffic. At that time, the name Vua (King) river was formed (now the Gua river), and Hop Duc became a commune at the beginning of Ha Dong area.
After the August 1945 Revolution, to reform administration, Hien Vong was renamed Nhan Hien and turned into one of four hamlets of Hop Duc commune.
The local socio-economic development lured many families to live together, seven of which have been defined to be the oldest residents, namely Pham, Nguyen, Dong, Dang, Quan, Trinh, and Le.
On December 1, 2019, three communes of Thanh Binh, Hop Duc, and Truong Thanh were merged into Thanh Quang commune.
Four types of coins
The location where the ancient coins were found is bounded by the field of Nhan Hien hamlet (about 1 km from the Van Uc river) in the east, the hall of the People’s Committee of the old Hop Duc commune (adjacent to the Ba Hoang river) in the west, campus I of Thanh Quang Primary School (next to the old Truong Thanh commune) in the south, and the residential area of Nhan Hien hamlet (bordering on the Gua river) in the north.
The land of Co’s family was very large in the past but has so far been narrowed to about 720 m2.
According to Co, many generations of the Le family were dignitaries in the region, such as village chief Le Manh Thuc, canton chiefs Le Van Do and Le Van Vinh. During the resistance war against US aggressors, many households near his house also found ancient coins but in small quantities.
According to the survey team, nearly 40,000 coins were collected (weighing about 1 quintal) and divided into four types after research and consideration, consisting of Gia Long Thong Bao (1802 – 1819), Minh Menh Thong Bao (1820 – 1840), Thieu Tri Thong Bao (1841 – 1847), and Tu Duc Thong Bao (1848 – 1883).
Most of the coins date from Gia Long and Minh Menh dynasties, and the rest from Thieu Tri and Tu Duc ones. Made of zinc, the coins have been oxidized and stuck together.
Upon detection, the coins were threaded into small strings heaped on each other and buried in a piece of land about 100 cm long, 40 cm wide, and 50 cm high.
The coins have a diameter of 2.4 cm with a square hole 0.5 cm wide in the center. The square holes were made to string the coins for convenient use.
Under feudalism, money had long-term value, and people of the later dynasty were allowed to use the currency of the previous dynasty (the currency in the Le dynasty was used in the Nguyen one).
Based on the history of the land and the family, it is likely that the ancient coins were hidden by the Le family.
To serve long-term research, the provincial Museum has received some coins of the four types with clear characters and guided the family to temporarily preserve the rest.
HOANG HUONG – PHUONG LAN