Città di Castello

Canoscio Hoard in Città di Castello

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The Canoscio Hoard, now kept in the Cathedral Museum in Città di Castello, is a rare collection of embossed silver objects, used for Eucharistic liturgies, dating back to the sixth century AD
It was accidentally discovered in the spring of 1935 at the Shrine of Canoscio, near Città di Castello. The find was arranged in a pile, covered by a large plate that was shattered by the blow of a plough at the time of discovery.
A rare example of early Christian art, the find consists of 25 objects including plates, patens, chalices, a pyx with its cover, strainers, a small ladle and a large number of spoons. The fact that there is an absence of religious signs on certain objects that normally would have them, such as the chalice and the pyx, as well as the presence of tools not expressly designed for liturgical use, as is the case, for example, of the ladle and spoons, have led to the hypothesis that they were originally domestic instruments, later donated to a Christian community and therefore specially decorated with symbols of their nascent religion: the fish, the cross and the dove. During the first centuries of Christianity, as a result of the persecution of the faithful, the objects used for liturgy were those normally used in the home. Only from the fourth to the seventh century, with the emergence of the Eucharistic rite, were objects produced for liturgical use only.
The names of Aelianus and Felicitas, probably donors, are inscribed on one of the patens.