Medieval gold treasure found at the Abbey of Cluny

A treasure of silver and golden coins, rings, and other gold objects was discovered within the Abbey of Cluny, Saône-et-Loire, France.

Golden treasure: 1. Knotted bundle before opening, 2. & 4. gold dinars, 3. signet ring, 5. all the artefacts (by Alexis Grattier)

Abbey of Cluny was one of the largest abbeys of Western Europe during the Middle Ages. Among the finds are 2200 silver deniers and oboles, 21 Islamic gold dinars, a signet ring, and other objects made of gold. According to researchers of Université Lumière Lyon 2 who conducted the excavations, never before has such a large cache of silver denarii been discovered. The artefacts were found within a loth bag, traces of which remain on some of the coins; and a tanned hide bundle, found among the silver coins, fastened with a knot. According to Anne Baud and  Anne Flamming who led the excavations the Islamic gold coins were struck between 1121-1131 in Spain and Morocco under the reign of Ali ibn Yusuf (1106–1143). The gold signet ring is said to date to the first half of the 12th century – it depicts the bust of a god and an inscription. A folded sheet of gold foil found in the bundle weights around 24 grammes.

(after Popular Archaeology, Alexis Grattier & Université Lumière Lyon 2)

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