It helps, as the BBC points out, if you’re washing your hands in a river running through one of the world’s oldest civilizations. But for an 11-year-old boy in China’s Gaoyou County (not far from Nanjing), what could be cooler than finding a priceless ancient weapon:
“Some people even offered high prices to buy the sword,” Junxi’s father Jinhai says. “But I felt it would be illegal to sell the relic.”
Archaeologists have dated the 26cm (10in) weapon to either the Shang or Zhou dynasties – the dawn of Chinese civilisation – based on its material, size and shape.
The authorities are now planning a major archaeological dig in the river, once part of a system of ancient waterways that developed into today’s Grand Canal.