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600 year old coin proves Chinese were in Africa before Europeans

American scientists have discovered a copper coin in Manda, a Kenyan island, believed to be 600 years old. The coin has a square hole in the centre and was minted under the Chinese Emperor Yongle during the Ming Dynasty between 1403-1425AD.

The coin which could be worn on a belt for ease, is made of copper and silver represents Yongle's economic power and international trade. The find has prompted new discussions on the relationship between China and Indian Ocean nations, a relationship that ceased soon after Yongle's death as Chinese rulers banned foreign expeditions and became isolated.

Interestingly civilisation on the island of Manda ceased in 1430AD which suggests the coin was brough to the island much earlier in Yongle's reign. The coin now confirms that trade existed between China and eastern Africa decades before the Europeans set sail for the Indian Ocean which rewrites much of history.