Xinhuanet wrote:Legendary sunken treasure discovered in SW China
CHENGDU, March 20 (Xinhua) -- A centuries-old legend that a vast booty of treasure belonging to the leader of a Chinese peasants uprising was lying at the bottom of a river has now been proven true.
After more than 10,000 items of gold and silver were recovered from the bottom of Minjiang River in Sichuan Province, archeologists confirmed Monday the tale of Zhang Xianzhong and his sunken treasure, dating back to the Ming Dynasty (1368-1644).
Legend had it that in 1646, peasant leader Zhang Xianzhong was defeated by Ming Dynasty soldiers while attempting to transfer his large haul of treasure southward. About 1,000 boats loaded with money and assorted valuable were said to have sunk in the skirmish.
But for centuries the story remained little more than a rumor with no reliable evidence.
"The objects uncovered are the most direct and compelling evidence to identify the area where the battle was fought," said Wang Wei, a Chinese archaeologist.
"The items found include large amounts of gold, silver and bronze coins, jewelry, and iron weapons such as swords, knives and spears," said Gao Dalun, director of Sichuan Provincial Cultural Relics and Archeology Research Institute.
But Chinese archaeology has sometimes to be taken with a grain of salt…
From what I read elsewhere, Zhang was a soldier, recruited an army during the peasant troubles, conquered a province he tried to rule (with much ferocity) and finally was attacked and defeated by the Qing (invading Manchus).