A hoard of 21 Islamic gold dinars, 2,200 silver coins, and gold artifacts dating to the 12th century CE has been unearthed by archaeologists digging at the Abbey of Cluny, a former Benedictine monastery in Cluny, Saône-et-Loire, France.
The Cluny Abbey hoard was found by a team of archaeologists and students from the Université Lumière Lyon 2 and CNRS.
In total, the treasure trove includes:
(i) 21 Islamic gold dinars struck between 1121 and 1131 in Spain and Morocco, under the reign of Ali ibn Yusuf (1106-1143);
(ii) more than 2,200 silver deniers and oboles — mostly minted by the Abbey of Cluny and probably dating to the first half of the 12th century — in a cloth bag, traces of which remain on some of the coins;
(iii) a tanned hide bundle, found among the silver coins, fastened with a knot, and enclosing;
(iv) a gold signet ring with a red intaglio depicting the bust of a god and an inscription possibly dating the ring back to the first half of the 12th century;
(v) a folded sheet of gold foil weighing 24 g and stored in a case;
(vi) a small circular object made of gold.
“We’re currently studying the treasure in more detail to identify and date the various pieces with greater precision,” the archaeologists said.
This is an exceptional find for a monastic setting and especially that of Cluny, which was founded by William I, Duke of Aquitaine, in 910 and was one of the largest abbeys of Western Europe during the Middle Ages.
“At that time, Western currency was mostly dominated by silver deniers. Gold coins were reserved for rare transactions,” the scientists said.
“The 2,200 or so silver deniers, struck at Cluny or nearby, would have been for everyday purchases. This is the largest stash of such coins ever found.”
“The fact that Arab currency, silver deniers, and a signet ring were enclosed together makes this discovery all the more interesting.”
Source link: https://www.sci.news/archaeology/cluny-abbey-hoard-05433.html