A Chinese boy made a surprising discovery while washing his hands in the Jiangsu Province's Laozhoulin River: a 3,000-year-old bronze sword.
The 11-year-old boy, Yang Junxi, told China's state news agency Xinhua that he was playing near the river and accidentally touched the sword's tip while washing his hands in the water. He brought the sword home, and his family sent it to local officials at the Gaoyou Cultural Relics Bureau to examine its worth. "Some people even offered high prices to buy the sword," Junxi's father Jinhai told Xinhua. "But I felt it would be illegal to sell the relic."
Archaeologists speculated that the sword, which is roughly 10 inches long, comes from either the Shang or Zhou dynasties. The bureau suggested that the sword was a "status symbol of a civil official" and not a weapon used for fighting.
After Junxi's discovery, authorities are now planning an archaeological dig in the river, which is part of a waterway system that developed into China's Grand Canal. Junxi and his father were given a reward for turning the sword over to authorities.