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In the first week of December 2004, two New South Wales amateur prospectors searching for gold unearthed an unidentified ancient coin amongst rocks in uninhabited forest country near a mountain ridge to the north-east of the claimed Gympie Pyramid site with a metal detector. It was found under nine inches of soil amidst old metal fragments. The Dhamurian Historical Research Society at Gympie was alerted to the amazing discovery by an E-bay auction in late January 2005. A successful negotiation with the owners resulted in the final purchase of the historic artefact so that it remained in the possession of Gympie regional researchers.

Society members believe the relic may hold clues to the origins of the now destroyed Gympie Pyramid complex; Aboriginal legends pertaining to the claimed ruins and ?visits? by their ?gods from the sky?; early mining by ?strangers?; several strange statues found over a 100-year period; other unidentified small objects; a 600 year-old lead fishing weight found at nearby Fraser?s Island (identified by the Queensland Museum as 15-16th Century possibly from southern France or the north of Spain); at least two controversial unidentified shipwreck sites east of Gympie; an ancient unidentified curved sword blade found in the same region of the coin 100 years ago by a family who has owned the land since the 1900?s; and the riddle of an old antimony mine located also near the pyramid site that was ?re-opened? in the mid-1900?s then closed later due flooding and collapsing mine supports.

In searching for the origins of the coin and its connection with Gympie, members of the local society spent two months of in-depth research overseas and within Australia with professional numismatic dealers, museums and ancient language experts in Egyptian-Greek-Roman-Coptic-Celtic-Phoenician-Semitic-Byzantium-Arabic-Indian-Sri Lankan symbolisms believing the coin may have come from these sources through ancient mariner trading ventures that are claimed to have taken place hundreds of years before Europeans ever had knowledge of a great ?southern land?.

As a result of the society?s investigations, the origins of the coin have been discovered from a most unlikely source. In the opinion of the Russian Numismatic Society, The Pskov Museum, Canadian Society for the Study of Egyptian Antiquities, USA professional coin experts and St. Shenouda, The Archimandrite Coptic Society of Los Angeles, United Kingdom numismatic experts, and an Australian archaeologist of Brisbane Queensland ? all have confirmed that the coin is a 15th Century (1400-1500 AD) silver ?Denga? (the size of an old threepence) and is quite rare.

Other results from their investigations have revealed:

It comes from the Feudal State ?Kingless? period in Russian history 1389-1462 (an independent period during Mongol-Chinese controls of early Russia).
The location was an old fortress city called Pskov in Russia. Pskov is known to have minted its own coins c.1400-1500 until it lost its independence to Moscow control.
The alphabet signage is a ?Cyrillic? form of "Old Church Slavic" (or Slavonic) and appears to display a mint-makers mark and a possible date (not yet identified).
The obverses of all coins for the Pskov period are the same and depict a head with a ?crowned? head and a sword. It is understood this symbolism depicts an image of an earlier Prince or Duke namely Dovmont-Timothey of Pskov ?The Saint? ? not the face of any particular ruler at the time.
It is known that the rulers of the associated region (not over Pskov) were (1) Vasili the First (1389-1425) and (2) Vasili the Second (1425-1462). The Imperial Ruler of the new Russian Empire (after the Mongol?s defeat) was Ivan the Third. He took over as the leader of all Russia between 1462-1505 ? a little late for this coin because of known coin designs thereafter.
The size of the pure silver coin is also consistent with the European Dark ages and that the size is like a three pence is important because the three pence size was a set silver weight size for silver coins which evolved from early coin/weight sizes.
The legend on the coin according to linguists reads by line: (a) DEN (b) GAPSK (c) OVSK (d) AIA (e) the final line is not identified however it may or not be a continuation of PRKOVSK-AIA (for PSKOV or rather belonging to PSKOV) but a possible year of issue. In all, the legend reads ?Denga of Pskov? or ?Den?ga Pskovskaya? in Russian.
Pskov was an ancient trading city so its coinage moved all over the world with other trading nations. In those days, coins had a value directly related to the amount of metal in them, hence a "pound" sterling was originally redeemable for one pound weight of silver at the bank of England, a penny was a penny weight of copper, a shilling was a certain weight of silver etc. So each coin was struck of a pure metal and had the value directed related to the weight of that metal, remembering that copper was quite a valuable metal until very recently. The ?Denga? and other silver coins became currency anywhere in the world. It is a well-established fact that Russia traded with China extensively in those days, (14th, 15th and 16th centuries) and that silver was more valuable than gold in many parts of Asia at that time.
There is no doubt that such coinages would have circulated widely during trading ventures throughout the Mediterranean area, Greece, Phoenicia and the India-Sri Lankan regions before, during and after the Mongol period of Russia. The ?Denga? was a widely used coinage in early China and throughout the ?ports of call? on the famous ?Silk Road? between east and west.
It is believed this coin, the ancient sword, other artefacts and the lead weight of Fraser?s Island are all interconnected with the same date period 1389-1462.
The fact that there were no possibilities of any Russians in Australia in the 15th century in the remote bushland of Gympie supports the theory of outside mariner influence. How it was deposited in uninhabited country at Gympie is a mystery. As for Russian settlers in Gympie?s gold rush days of 1867-1900, there are no recorded histories of any such persons. As for Chinese influences, this could be a different matter. The location of the find excludes any Chinese gold mining presence because most entering the early goldfields did not venture off the ?beaten? track between Maryborough and Gympie due to the hostilities of the aborigines. However, that the Chinese mariners visited the region in much earlier times is a real possibility.

When taking all of these findings into consideration, it is now theorised that it may have arrived around the time of the claimed Chinese Admiral Zheng He's Australian coastline expeditions (1421-1432). Such expeditions may be connected to the unidentified shipwrecks on Fraser's Island, Tin Can Bay and other nearby areas off the Queensland coast near the city of Gympie - a gold mining centre of the modern era commencing back in 1867. The aborigines of that time had legends of strange "gods" coming to this land digging for the "yellow stone" and "cooking the tree leaves" (eucalyptus oils). The coin may be connected to an old unidentified curved sword blade also found in the same area some 100 years ago but was only been brought to the society?s knowledge two years ago. Also to be considered is the fact that now we can also make a dateline connection between this ?Denga? and the lead weight of Fraser Island as they both come in about the same time.

Top: Earliest known ?Denga? specimen 1389-1425.

Middle: Earliest known ?Denga? specimen 1425-1462.

Bottom: Earliest known ?Denga? specimen 1462-1505.

If the top left photo of that coin is compared with the coin found at Gympie ? one will find they are both identical except for the ?string? coin oblong shape.

The ancient Chinese theory suggested by the Dhamurian Historical Research Society appears to be supported in that:

An ancient Chinese ?teapot? was found on the shoreline east of Gympie several decades ago. It appears to have been identified as a "Green Dragon" copper wine pot from the Ming period or earlier. The three-legged configuration suggests it is a wine pot - not a teapot. Copper or bronze was used for easy warming of the wine over heat source.
The remnants of an old jade necklace and two jade carved objects were found amongst ?stone ruins? in bushland near Tin Can Bay in the late 1990?s. Their location had no bearing to gold mining inland at Gympie ? far from it. One of these relics appears to be the necklace worn by captains of escort ships during Zheng Ho's period. The two jade carvings are talisman that protected them from evil spirits. The Captains of the navy during Cheng Ho's period were all Taoist priests who wore jade necklaces and performed Taoist ceremonies supposed to give them good luck and smooth sailing journeys in strange and unknown lands.
The following questions were raised with a member of the Royal Geographic Society in London UK ? an expert on Chinese histories.

1. Did the Chinese ever use Antimony?

Answer: Yes, extensively.

2. What did they use it for?

Answer: In alloys of steel, tin and many other uses.

3. Did they ever trade in the valued metal?

Answer: Yes.

4. Was Zheng He/Ho descended from the Mongols of eastern Russia?

Answer: Zheng He's forbears were Persians who migrated from Syria to Bokhara in the eighth century. There they remained as traders along the silk road until Genghis Khan sacked the city. They then migrated to Yunnan. Doubtless they had some Mongol genes as well as Persian.

5. Were the Mongols in charge of China at the time of Zheng He?

Answer: Mongols were in charge of China at the time of Zheng He - The last Mongol stronghold in 1402 when Zhu Di ascended the throne was in Yunnan with their fortress at Kunyang. This was Zheng He's family home. Zhu Di captured Kunyang and had Zheng He and his friends castrated.
6. Were the Emperors of China at the time of Zheng He of Mongol descent?

Answer: It is arguable that Zhu Di was Mongolian. His father, the first Ming Emperor, married a Mongol widow. Some, (a minority), claim she was already one month pregnant when she married - by her deceased Mongolian husband.

7. Was the term "Denge" used for early Chinese coinage?

Answer: Yes - it is Mongolian for 'money'. The term is in use in Central Asia today.

8. Did they ever trade with foreign metal coins?

Answer: Yes, frequently. In Malaysia the currency was iron or tin ingots in the shape of turtles weighing one quarter, one half and one kati.
9. Did the Chinese ever trade with eastern or southern Russia (Byzantium regions)?

Answer: Yes - frequently. One of Zhu Di's first foreign policy initiations after Tamburlaine's death (1405) was to re-open trade routes to Persia (ruled by Shah Rukh, Tamburlaine's eldest surviving son,) and thence Byzantium.

10. Could there be a connection to the Mahogany ship of Warrnambool in Victoria.

Answer: There is every chance that if proven, Gympie and Warrnambool could be connected with the earliest of Chinese mariners around Australia?s coastlines.

In view of the mounting evidences supporting their theories, the Dhamurian Research Society at Gympie plans further historical research to unravel realistic answers to this new mystery. In the interim, members have refrained from disclosing the location of the coin discovery until experts in the field carry out more archaeological investigations. The other mystery yet to be solved of further interest that may be connected to this recent find is that in the 1860's, an early settler in the Gympie region with good relations with the aborigines witnessed an aboriginal ceremony where women "presented sacred objects from the sky gods from a secret place ... included metal arm bands and other small metal items ... women were the "custodians" of these "sacred things" and would not tell where they hid them". Of much interest in this record is that the location of the ceremony and the direction from whence the women came are near identical to that of this find.

Further detailed information on the Russian history in relation to these coins can be obtained from: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.