Tuesday, November 28, 2017

Medieval treasure discovered at the Abbey of Cluny suggests Arab link - quotes



In a Medievalists.net paper of November 17, 2017 the unearthing of a large treasure at the Abbey of Cluny, France was reported. The precense of Arab world currency illustrates a direct connection between Cluny and the Arab world. The following text quotes parts of the paper:

"In mid-September (21017, TN), a large treasure was unearthed during a dig at the Abbey of Cluny, in the French department of Saône-et-Loire: 2,200 silver deniers and oboles, 21 Islamic gold dinars, a signet ring, and other objects made of gold. Never before has such a large cache of silver deniers been discovered. Nor have gold coins from Arab lands, silver deniers, and a signet ring ever been found hoarded together within a single, enclosed complex. ...

The excavation campaign, authorized by the Bourgogne–Franche-Comté Regional Department of Cultural Affairs (DRAC), began in mid-September and ended in late October. It is part of a vast research program focused on the Abbey of Cluny. ...

This is an exceptional find for a monastic setting and especially that of Cluny, which was one of the largest abbeys of Western Europe during the Middle Ages. The treasure was buried in fill where it seems to have stayed for 850 years.

It includes items of remarkable value: 21 gold dinars and a signet ring, a very expensive piece of jewelry that few could own during the Middle Ages. At that time, Western currency was mostly dominated by the silver denier. Gold coins were reserved for rare transactions. 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."

Quoted text, illustration and further reading medievalists.net; caption illustration:"Gold dinar. Credit: Alexis Grattier-Université Lumière Lyon 2"

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