An unusual find was unearthed at Benedictine Abbey

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During an archaeological dig at the Abby of Cluny, Amme Baud and Anne Flammin discovered quite the find in September 2017. The hoard of coins found at the Benedictine monastery, which was dedicated to St. Peter, produced 21 Islamic gold dinars, a signet ring. Amongst other items in the find were 2.200 silver deniers and oboles, and various objects made of gold. The find is very unique considering many of these items have never been found outside of Arab regions much less together.

The excavation began in mid-September and wrapped in late October but was not disclosed to the public until November of 2017. Upon further inspection of the coins themselves, it was determined they had been minted at the Abbey of Cluny or nearby in the area. The silver coins were contained in a cloth bag and date back to the first half of the 12th century, making the coins roughly 850 years old.

This find from the Medieval era, French region has sparked many questions about the monastery and Cluny themselves. Many of the precarious questions that come to mind for the public as well as archaeologists are:

Who owned these items?

Were they owned, then buried by a monk, a passerby?

Why were the coins, ring, and various other gold items buried together?

How is that Islamic coins ended up in a Medieval French monastery?

What can we learn from this find that we did not already know about the area?

All these questions and more have yet to be determined and it is a task left up to Vincent Borrel, a doctorate student at the Archaeology and Philology of East and West research unit. Many are hope he and his team can piece together history to answer these questions and more about Anne Baud and Anne Flammin’s find in Cluny, France.

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