Academic Vladimir Ploskikh said an expedition from the Kyrgyz-Russian Slavic University found a 70-gram octagonal gold artifact on the northern side of Lake Issuk-Kul.
"This is probably the earliest form of metal money found in Central Asia, and may have served as an archetype for later gold coins," he said. "If this [hypothesis] is confirmed, the find will have a unique worldwide historical and cultural significance as a prototype for gold money."
The archeologists also recovered from the lake bronze daggers, sickles and hatchets, as well as household implements and jewelry dating back to approximately 1,000 BC.
Ploskikh said the finds could mark a "new page in history."
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