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Middle Ages without borders: a conversation on medievalism

Tommaso di Carpegna Falconieri
Pierre Savy
Lila Yawn

b) Remembering the Jews of medieval Christendom

1) Hidden in the archive: the case of the medieval Anglo-Jewish Token

Toni Griffiths

Texte intégral

1In 1968, a lead token with Hebrew inscriptions was discovered during excavations of Lower Brooks Street, Winchester, England. The artefact was dated to the late twelfth to thirteenth century and is thought to have been a synagogue token used by the medieval Jewish community. The Winchester Jewry was one of the earliest settlements in England. Jews were present in the city from the mid-1100s until their expulsion from the country in 1290. The significance of the token lies in its status as one of a limited selection of artefacts relating to the medieval Jews across England. Martin Biddle has suggested that it is “the only one of its kind to have been found in England securely dated before c. 1250” (BIDDLE 2012, p. 700). This paper explores the discovery, interpretation, and treatment of the Winchester token. It considers how the token’s place in the archive has affected the approach of the city towards remembering and forgetting medieval Jewish history. Drawing into focus the public display of other medieval Jewish artefacts, such as the ritual lamp at Bristol’s M-Shed, this paper also assesses the challenges of displaying the token in Winchester and considers the role of the City Museum as a potential display space, noting its challenges, possibilities, and restrictions.


2Biddle 2012


The Parkes Institute, University of Southampton

© Publications de l’École française de Rome, 2021

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