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FOUND: A Chinese Coin From the 1700s Buried in Seattle


An example of an 18th century Qing dynasty coin (Photo: Jean-Michel Moullec/Flickr)

In Seattle, archaeologists working under a bridge have found 2,600 or so artifacts from Seattle history—everything from depression-era shoes and dolls to a Chinese coin that was minted in the 1700s, during the Qing Dynasty, KOMO News reports.

The site, where construction workers were installing a water tank, was once called Finntown. The community was most active during Prohibition and the Great Depression, but the archaeologists have also found artifacts dating back further, like a chisel made from the femur of (most likely) an elk.

Other finds include:

  • eyeglasses
  • a toy fork
  • a 1921 Nippon beer bottle
  • suspenders
  • a Seattle Municipal Railway Token.

The mysterious 18th century Chinese coin, researchers say, was most likely brought by an immigrant: the site’s right by Smith Cove, where ships carrying Asian immigrants landed on the American coast.

Bonus finds: “Strange things…we don’t fully understand” on Comet 67P, toilet snake (ack!)

Every day, we highlight one newly lost or found object, curiosity or wonder. Discover something unusual or amazing? Tell us about it! Send your finds to sarah.laskow@atlasobscura.com.