A rock carving of a “jiaozi”—a form of promissory banknote believed to be the world’s first paper money—was discovered in Chongqing, a municipality in southwest China, this May.
Jiaozi was printed in the Northern Song Dynasty (960-1126). A carving depicting the 1,000-plus-year-old note was found at the Dazu Rock Carvings, which are a United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) World Heritage Site in Chongqing.
Commonly found among the more than 50,000 carvings in Chongqing’s Dazu district, more than 40 coins are also depicted on the stone structures near the newly found jiaozi carving.
The rock carvings date from the 8th century to the 13th century and were added to UNESCO’s World Heritage List nearly two decades ago.