|A copper-alloy Chinese coin of the Northern Song emperor Zhenzong, dated 1008–16, found near Petersfield, Hampshire (image: PAS).|
The coin in question was issued between 1008 and 1016 during the reign of Emperor Zhenzong of the Northern Song dynasty and was found at Buriton, Hampshire, around 9 miles from the coast. As was the case with the other eleventh-century Chinese coin discussed here previously, the coin doesn't seem to be part of a 'suspicious' grouping of finds or deposited curated collection, and the field that it was recovered from has also produced a handful of medieval- and immediately post-medieval finds. These include a coin of King John minted at London in 1205–7, a medieval cut farthing of perhaps 1180–1247, two fragments of one or more medieval or early post-medieval vessels, and two mid-sixteenth-century coins. As such, it seems credible that this coin too could have been a medieval-era loss, and in this context it is worth noting that such Northern Song coins might quite credibly have arrived at any point up to perhaps the late fourteenth century, given that they continued to circulate in significant numbers well into that era.
|The distribution of archaeological and textual evidence for the presence of medieval Chinese pottery (black open circles) and coins (blue dots) west of India, set against the maximum extent of the Mongol Empire in the late thirteenth century in red; the map is based on Whitehouse 1972, Cribb and Potts 1996, Vigano 2011, Vigano 2014, Zhao 2015, Meicun and Zhang 2017, Василев 2017 (image: Caitlin Green, drawn on a base map from Wikimedia Commons).|