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2,000-year-old coin stash discovered at ancient Buddhist shrine in Pakistan

Archaeologists in Pakistan have unearthed an extremely rare hoard of copper coins, thought to be more than 2,000 years old, from the ruins of a Buddhist shrine built at the even more ancient site of Mohenjo-Daro.

The coins and shrine — known as a stupa — are thought to date from the time of the Kushan Empire, a mainly Buddhist polity that ruled the region from about the second century B.C. until the third century A.D., and conquered the Greco-Bactrian kingdom established in Central Asia by Alexander the Great.

The shrine sits among the vast ruins at Mohenjo-Daro in what is now southeast Pakistan, which date to around 2600 B.C. and are from the ancient Indus Valley or Harappan civilization — one of the oldest civilizations in the world.

The coin hoard was found amid the ruins of a Buddhist shrine built above the remains of the ancient city more than 2,000 years ago. (Image credit: Sheikh Javed Ali Sindhi)

“The stupa was built on the top of deserted ruins of Mohenjo-Daro after its decline [around] 1,600 years later,” archaeologist and guide Sheikh Javed Ali Sindhi told Live Science.

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