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Archaeologists have discovered a burial site containing a remarkable collection of 2,000-year-old copper coins, weighing a staggering 10 tonnes

Archaeologists in China have confirmed that the discovery of a staggering 10 tonnes of copper coins in an ancient grave date back to around 2,000 years ago.

The incredible find in an old Western Han Dynasty tomb is now helping to shed light on the life of nobility from ancient times.

Chinese people started using coins as currency in around 1,200 BC, where instead of trading small farming implements and knives, they would melt them down into small round objects and then turn them back into knives and farm implements when needed.The coins discovered in the tomb date back to around 206 BC – when copper coins replaced the melted down tools.

At the time they were of a very low value and often had holes in the middle so that they could be strung together to create larger denominations.

Around two million of the copper coins were found and are thought to be worth around £104,000 at face value – but a single coin will now sell for thousands of pounds.

The ancient money, which bears Chinese symbols, characters, and a square hole at its centre, were found at a dig site in the city of Nanchang, China.

Along with the tonnes of coins found were also chimes, bamboo slips, and tomb figurines, all of which accompanied deceased nobles of the past when they were buried underground.

The items discovered have promised to help fill in more gaps as historians try to complete the puzzle of ancient Chinese burial customs.