A Medieval Treasure Discovered at the Abbey of Cluny

Source: FSSPX News

A major cultural and religious center of medieval Europe, the Abbey of Cluny has not yet revealed all of its secrets. Archeologists have just found an unsuspected treasure, as the CNRS revealed on November 14, 2017.

During the month of September, the team working with Anne Baud, a researcher and professor at the University of Lyon-II, and Anne Flammin, an engineer working for the CNRS, did a survey to find the angle of the abbey’s former infirmary. Metallic pieces suddenly appeared.

“We thought it was bronze at first, but then we noticed it was a coin; then we saw a pile, a whole collection of coins, there were so many,” tells Clarisse Couderc, a student who participated in the excavation.

Over 2,200 deniers and silver coins dating from the 12th century, mostly minted by the Abbey of Cluny, and 21 Muslim golden dinars in a tanned skin were contained in a canvas sack. There was also a golden seal ring with a Roman relic, a folded leaf, and a small gold object.

Many questions remain: who can have hidden this treasure, and why? “The place it was discovered could also be connected with the cellarer, the monk who took take of the monastery’s food expenses,” suggests Anne Flammin prudently.

The Abbey of Cluny was for three centuries the largest church in the West, before St. Peter’s Basilica in Rome was rebuilt in the 16th century. Confiscated by the French Revolution in 1789, the abbey was pillaged, then destroyed. Used as a stone quarry, it was later demolished with explosives.