Sep 11 – 16, 2022
University of Warsaw
Europe/Warsaw timezone

From Flanders to Milan. A hoard of gold and silver coins from a 16th century mass grave

Sep 13, 2022, 2:00 PM
University of Warsaw

University of Warsaw

Krakowskie Przedmieście 26/28 Warsaw


Alessandro Bona (Catholic University of the Sacred Heart)


Between 2018 and 2019, an archaeological excavation at the basilica of San Vittore al Corpo in Milan uncovered a mass grave with more than thirty corpses. During the excavation of one of the skeletons, a florin of Philip I of Habsburg issued in Antwerp (1500-1506) and thirteen silver coins came to light. The latter are currently impossible to identify (their restoration is planned in the coming months), but perhaps recognisable as Grossi or half Grossi minted in Flanders in the first half of the 16th century. These coins are exceptional in the panorama of the circulation of Milan during this period. The tomb in which they were found probably held the bodies of victims of an epidemic wave, hastily buried, perhaps for fear of contagion. In addition to the historical and archaeological context, the paper will provide a picture of the epidemics which struck Milan in the 16th century.

Primary author

Alessandro Bona (Catholic University of the Sacred Heart)

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