An 11-year-old was washing his hands in the Laozhoulin River in China's Jiangsu Province when he felt something hard.
According to the Chinese news agency, the discovery was made on July 2 but was more recently turned over to the Gaoyou Cultural Relics Bureau by the boy's family.
"Some people even offered high prices to buy the the sword, but I felt it would be illegal to sell the cultural relic," Yang Jinhai, the boy's father told, Xinhua.
With little ornamental detail on the sword, Lyu Zhiwei with the bureau said that its material and size suggest that it belonged to someone of some status.
The boy found the sword while washing his hands in the river. According to the news agency, the river has been dredged before for such relics, but officials are considering examining the area again after this recent find. (Image source: LiveLeak)
"There was no characteristic or decorative pattern on the exquisite bronze sword. Made in a time of relatively low productivity, its owner would have been an able man with the qualification to have such artifact," he said. "The short sword seems a status symbol of a civil official. It has both decorative and practical functions, but is not in the shape of sword for military officers."
Watch this video report about the sword (note: the language is Chinese):