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Name:  Mardin Hoard
Brief biography:  A hoard of c.13,500 base metal coins found near Mardin in south-eastern Turkey in 1972 with a terminus post quem of c.1200.

The Mardin Hoard was found in about 1972 near Mardin in what is now modern Turkey, but what was in 1200 (the approximate terminus post quem of the hoard) under the Turkman Artuqid dynasty. The exact location and circumstances of its discovery are unknown. It consisted of around 13,500 base metal coins, mostly Byzantine and of that mainly anonymous folles, of which around 2,200 were countermarked with 28 different identifiable countermarks. Nicholas Lowick, Simon Bendall and Philip Whitting undertook the study of the hoard, which they published in 1977 and some of the coins from the hoard were displayed at the Barber that same year.

The chronological range of the Byzantine component of the hoard is quite wide, from Anastasius I at the end of the fifth century, to Alexios I at the end of the eleventh. The probable inclusion of some later Islamic issues gives us an early thirteenth century terminus post quem although the unclear nature of the find has meant some debate as to what was genuinely part of the hoard and what was simply presented alongside it when it was encountered by Henry Weller in Istanbul. It is not at all uncommon for hoards of Byzantine coins and countermarked coins from elsewhere to turn up in Turkman states, indeed, these hoards and the lack of coins specific to the earliest years of the rulership of the Turkman dynasties are what suggest that Byzantine and other coins were circulating in the Turkman states prior to the production of their own coins.

In the case of Mardin specifically, it is interesting that there is a lack of coins from other contemporary states, such as the Crusader principality of Antioch, Cilician Armenia, or Trebizond. It was suggested

by the original investigators that the Mardin Hoard may represent coins used specifically to pay the jizya tax. What it certainly demonstrates is the circulation of coins long after their production.

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