Chapter 6

Economic Systems in Transition


Ancient Chinese coinage.

Source: The Yellow River Conservancy Commission of the Ministry of Water Resources of the People’s Republic of China.

In ancient China, with the opening of exchange between farmers, artisans, and merchants, there came into use money of tortoise shells, cowrie shells, gold… Archeological evidence shows that the earliest use of the dao (knife) and bu (spade) monies was in the Spring and Autumn period (770–476 BC). There is no doubt that the well-known dao and bu monies were closely associated with military and agricultural activities. What is more interesting is that these monies represented ...

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