The First Art Newspaper on the Net Established in 1996 United States Sunday, April 20, 2014


Ancient Chinese coin found on Kenyan island of Manda by Field Museum expedition
The coin, a small disk of copper and silver with a square hole in the center so it could be worn on a belt, is called “Yongle Tongbao”. Photo: John Weinstein/The Field Museum.
CHICAGO, IL.- A joint expedition of scientists led by Chapurukha M. Kusimba of The Field Museum and Sloan R. Williams of the University of Illinois at Chicago has unearthed a 600-year-old Chinese coin on the Kenyan island of Manda that shows trade existed between China and east Africa decades before European explorers set sail and changed the map of the world.

The coin, a small disk of copper and silver with a square hole in the center so it could be worn on a belt, is called “Yongle Tongbao” and was issued by Emperor Yongle who reigned from 1403-1425AD during the Ming Dynasty. The emperor’s name is written on the coin, making it easy to date. Emperor Yongle, who started construction of China’s Forbidden City, was interested in political and trade missions to the lands that ring the Indian Ocean and sent Admiral Zheng He, also known as Cheng Ho, to explore those shores.

“Zheng He was, in many ways, the Christopher Columbus of China,” said Dr. Kusimba, Curator of African Anthropology at The Field Museum. “It’s wonderful to have a coin that may ultimately prove he came to Kenya,” he added.

Dr. Kusimba continued, “This finding is significant. We know Africa has always been connected to the rest of the world, but this coin opens a discussion about the relationship between China and Indian Ocean nations.”

That relationship stopped soon after Emperor Yongle’s death when later Chinese rulers banned foreign expeditions, allowing European explorers to dominate the Age of Discovery and expand their countries’ empires.

The island of Manda, off the northern coast of Kenya, was home to an advanced civilization from about 200AD to 1430AD, when it was abandoned and never inhabited again. Trade played an important role in the development of Manda, and this coin may show trade’s importance on the island dating back to much earlier than previously thought.

“We hope this and future expeditions to Manda will play a crucial role in showing how market-based exchange and urban-centered political economies arise and how they can be studied through biological, linguistic, and historical methodologies,” Dr. Kusimba said.

Other researchers who participated in the expedition to Manda include Dr. Janet Monge from the University of Pennsylvania, Mohammed Mchulla, staff scientist at Fort Jesus National Museums of Kenya and Dr. Amelia Hubbard from Wright State University. Also involved was Professor Tiequan Zhu of Sun Yat-Sen University, who identified the coin. The researchers also found human remains and other artifacts that predate the coin.



Today's News

March 15, 2013

Museum-kueppersmuehle in Duisburg presents Gilbert & George's "London Pictures"

Ancient Chinese coin found on Kenyan island of Manda by Field Museum expedition

National Gallery of Art receives $30 million in donations to add 12,260 square feet of space

Credit Suisse to donate Trumbull's Portrait of Alexander Hamilton to Crystal Bridges and Met

Exhibition of recent paintings by Howard Hodgkin opens at Gagosian Gallery in Rome

Sotheby's Hong Kong to hold Contemporary Asian Art Spring Sale 2013 on 5 April

Library from New York Seminary set for sale at Freeman’s Auctioneers in Philadelphia

Sotheby's to offer the Didier Hirsch Collection of Contemporary Chinese Art from the 1990s

Christie's presents a European chess collection, including a limited edition Man Ray set

Georgia O'Keeffe Museum announces new Director of Curatorial Affairs Cody Hartley

$816,500 jade vase highlights Maynards' $2.9 million Auction of International and Asian Art

Two great Photo League collections are combined for first comprehensive museum exhibition in three decades

The London Original Print Fair 2013 opens in six weeks at the Royal Academy of Arts

Seven sages of ceramics: Modern Japanese masters at Joan B. Mirviss Ltd.

Ellsworth Bunker Archive sold for $86,581 at auction

Spring Asian Decorative Arts Auction at Bonhams achieves $1.7 million

Prague: Capital of the Twentieth Century - a Surrealist history by Derek Sayer

Smithsonian names architect for South Mall museums master plan

"I Do Not Feel That I Am Free": Iraqi artist Sadik Alfraji exhibits at Ayyam Gallery in London

Most Popular Last Seven Days



1.- 'World's oldest message in a bottle', tossed in sea 101 years ago, reaches granddaughter

2.- East-West/West-East: Qatar unveils desert sculpture by American artist Richard Serra

3.- Ming-era 'chicken cup' sells for $36.05 million breaking record for Chinese porcelain

4.- United States pastor Kevin Sutherland convicted over Damien Hirst fake paintings

5.- Major exhibition at Pinacothèque de Paris explores the myth of Cleopatra

6.- Fondation Vincent van Gogh Arles opens with inaugural exhibition "Van Gogh Live!"

7.- Landmark exhibition opens in New York exploring the ancient kingdoms of Southeast Asia

8.- Palm-sized scroll that mentions Jesus's wife is ancient: Harvard Theological Review

9.- Hitler's wife Eva Braun may have had Jewish ancestry: British television documentary

10.- Bonhams to sell Madame de Pompadour's favourite porcelain which surfaced in Devon after 350 years



Museums, Exhibits, Artists, Milestones, Digital Art, Architecture, Photography,
Photographers, Special Photos, Special Reports, Featured Stories, Auctions, Art Fairs,
Anecdotes, Art Quiz, Education, Mythology, 3D Images, Last Week, .

 

Founder:
Ignacio Villarreal
Editor & Publisher: Jose Villarreal - Consultant: Ignacio Villarreal Jr.
Art Director: Juan José Sepúlveda Rmz. - Marketing: Carla Gutiérrez
Special Contributor: Liz Gangemi - Special Advisor: Carlos Amador
Contributing Editor: Carolina Farias

Royalville Communications, Inc
produces:

ignaciovillarreal.org theavemaria.org juncodelavega.org facundocabral-elfinal.org
Founder's Site. The most varied versions
of this beautiful prayer.
Hommage
to a Mexican poet.
Hommage
       

The First Art Newspaper on the Net. The Best Versions Of Ave Maria Song Junco de la Vega Site Ignacio Villarreal Site