Unprovenanced Abbasid Silver Dirham (CM_1777_2008)

A fragment of an Abbasid silver dirham found in Torksey, Lincolnshire

It is unknown for which ruler this dirham was minted nor where the mint was located. However, it has been speculated that the mint would have been located somewhere in Iraq, Iran, or Central Asia. The dirham was a unit of weight used across North Africa, the Middle East, and Persia, with varying values which also referred to the type of coins used in the Middle East during the Viking Age. These coins were extremely prized possessions not only for their silver value but as a way of displaying one’s wealth and vast trade connections. Millions of Arabic dirhams would have been imported throughout the Viking world and are mostly found in hoards. It is thought that one cause of the Viking Age was a reduction in access to Arabic silver.

Object Type



844 — 867


Ascribed Culture





Viking Objects

Current Location

The Fitzwilliam Museum, Cambridge


Arabic, coin, Currency, Danelaw Saga, dirham, Economy, Fitzwilliam_Museum, silver, Torksey, trade

Further information

You can see the original at The Fitzwilliam Museum, Cambridge.

This object is related to Torksey, Lincolnshire.
Find out about Torksey, Lincolnshire.


© The Fitzwilliam Museum, Cambridge


The Fitzwilliam Museum