An 11-year-old boy who resides in China’s eastern Jiangsu province stumbled upon a 3,000-year-old bronze sword while swimming in a river, according to China’s state-run Xinhua news agency.
The boy, 11-year old Yang Junxi, found the sword while he was at play near the Laozhoulin River in Gaoyou County, according to the county officials.
Yang said he was simply washing his hands in the river and made contact with something sharp in the water. He then ran home after discovering the ancient sword and showed it to his father, Yang Jinhai.
When news of the sword’s retrieval spread among the masses, many visited the Yang home and bid on the valuable item. The boy’s father said, “Some people even offered high prices to buy the sword, but I felt it would be illegal to sell the cultural relic.” He then sent it to the Gaoyou Cultural Relics Bureau.
A representative from the bureau announced that the sword was likely over 3,000 years old and likely a product of the Shang and Zhou dynasties. He added, “There was no characteristic or decorative pattern on the exquisite bronze sword. Made in a time of relatively low productivity, its owner would have been an able man with the qualifications to have such an artifact.” He also said that “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 [a] sword for military officers.”