Archaeologists find 1,000-year-old Christian jewellery mould

The mould is just 9 centimetres long. Archäologischer Dienst Graubünden

An archaeological dig beside a former prison in the southeast Swiss canton of Graubünden has unearthed a 1,000-year-old mould that was used to forge Christian-themed jewellery.

This content was published on July 21, 2020 - 16:47

The concrete mould, which measures 9 x 8.5 x 3 centimetres, would have been used to forge up to seven different types of objects including earrings and a crucifix.

Experts from Graubünden’s archaeological services said on Tuesday that they reckoned the object dated from sometime between the 9th and 11th centuries.

The find is a rare one not only in canton Graubünden, but across the whole of Switzerland; such objects had previously been found only in Bern, Basel, and Winterthur.

Archaeologists have been digging since March in the area in and around the recently shut down Sennhof prison, and have come across what they describe as a small artisanal district dating from the Middle Ages.

The dig will continue into the autumn. In the meantime, more research will be done to ascertain the nature of the cast found on Tuesday.

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