The jewels of ancient Slovakia

Permanent exhibition
Nitra

The intention of creators of the exhibition that made available to the public in 1993 was to present the most valuable exhibits from Slovakia. The aim of the author’s team was also to highlight the grandiose expression of creative activity and intense aesthetic and artistic feeling of our ancestors which can surprise, fascinate and enchant after many centuries or millenias. These historically, materially and aesthetically rare archaeological finds are a discovery and at the same time the result of long-term research activities of the Institute of Archaeology of the Slovak Academy of Sciences.

The exhibition conceived in the style of a “jewel box” is installed in a chamber space. The spacious showcases contain more than 2 000 exclusive exhibits, jewelry and ornaments made of precious metals and semi-precious stones, bronze, sea shells, glass, bone and antler, as well as unique clay sculptures and containers. They are arranged in chronological order (from the Early Stone Age – Paleolithic to modern times).

Visually and artistically attractive artifacts are creations of the human race from the ancient prehistory, the Paleolithic, when they expressed mainly the relationship of its creators to the surrounding world, served magical purposes and were associated with the instinct of preserving the human race. A rare evidence of such thinking is a female sculpture – a Venus from Moravany nad Váhom, dated by the C 14 method to 22 800 BC. Extraordinarily valuable exhibits include anthropomorphic vessels and sculptures from the Neolithic period, a unique find of a part of an iron scythe, originating from the cult well from Gánovce near Poprad from the Bronze Age, masterfully mastered bronze and iron products of Celts, Romans and Germans and great creations of Slavic and medieval jewelers craftsmen. The exhibition Jewels of Ancient Slovakia is a selection of the rarest, historically and artistically most valuable archaeological finds of incalculable value, yet it is only a fragment of material monuments documenting a diverse mosaic of life, abilities and fame of our ancestors.

Most of the exhibited material comes from the research activities of the Archaeological Institute of the Slovak Academy of Sciences in Nitra.  The author of the script is the former museum employee PhDr.  Jaroslava Ruttkayová, author of the architectural solution Ing.  Architect Ladislav Mikle – Barát, implemented by Studio Mikle.  The exhibition was financially supported by the City of Nitra and the Pro Slovakia State Culture Fund in 1993.

The exhibition Jewels of Ancient Slovakia was created in 2002 at the initiative of the Archaeological Institute of the Slovak Republic. More than two thousand exclusive archaeological exhibits from the territory of Slovakia were concentrated on the grounds of the Nitra Regional Museum. The summary of the long-term research work of archaeologists from the Archaeological Institute of the Slovak Republic and the results of many of them belong to unique finds of European and world format. The authors of the architectural form of the exposition are the architects Ing. arch. Ladislav Mikle and Ing. arch. Stanislav Babčan. The author of the libretto and screenplay is PhDr. Jaroslava Ruttkayová.

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