Post-classical history

Barbarossa Hoard

An important hoard of coins, unminted silver, and treasure, discovered in Turkey between 1982 and 1985. The find comprised around 7,700 coins (including halves and fragments), as well as several ingots of unminted silver and broken silver jewelry, evidently of Saljûq provenance.

The coins are almost all of German origin: over half are pennies of the archbishopric of Cologne and of the royal mint at Aachen, with over a hundred examples each from the ecclesiastical principalities of Strasbourg, Toul, Metz, Basel, Würzburg, Worms, and Salzburg, and smaller numbers from other German territories, France, England, and Italy. None of the coins can be dated to later than 1190, indicating that the hoard was buried by the army of Frederick Barbarossa during the Third Crusade (1189-1192). The composition of the hoard gives valuable information as to the form in which money was carried by crusaders (the coins and ingots) and on plunder acquired from the Saljûq sultanate of Rûm.

Silver pennies minted at Cologne, from the Barbarossa Hoard. (Courtesy Ulrich Klein)

Silver pennies minted at Cologne, from the Barbarossa Hoard. (Courtesy Ulrich Klein)

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