“CLOSE ENCOUNTERS WITH…”
Markets, merchants and commodity money17 December 2014 – 8 February 2015
Exhibition curators: mgr Kateriny Zisopulu-Bleja, mgr Magdalena Polkewska-Koziełł
This exhibition is dedicated to the broad subject of exchange in the Middle Ages. Featuring archaeological objects, it presents many aspects of trade in this period. Significant role in the development of medieval exchange system was played by markets, which were the spaces of organized exchange protected by law. Trade centres, initially associated with strongholds and places of cult, over time became an important factor contributing to the rise of towns, forming the basis for their economic growth. In the result of this process foreign merchants, often from distant countries, started to arrive to our lands to sell their goods. The economic changes also led to the emergence of a local socio-professional group involved in trade.
The exchange of goods is attested by numerous ornaments and everyday items, including medieval scales, weights or imports – all shown at our exhibition.The accompanying display boards provide information about commodity money - items which served the function of currency in the Middle Ages. They include: iron ingots (grzywnas), leather, furs, salt, amber, wax or cloth. The use of these objects as a medium of payment is an interesting aspect of history of exchange, as it makes us realise how deep were the changes that have occured in economy over centuries to form its present shape. These changes are reflected in the objects shown at the exhibition, e.g. case silver ingots and hack-silver (cut silver ornaments) representing non-currency money from the 10th century, and coins - the currency used in later periods.
Biskupin – a place of magic1 - 26 September 2014
Exhibition curators: dr Maciej Przybył, mgr Patrycja Silska
Visitors are invited to a temporary exhibition of the “Close encounters with…” series, this time focused on Biskupin – a place of magic. This original display of photographs by Marek Skubisz is presented as one of the cultural events organised by our Museum to celebrate “the year of Józef Kostrzewski”. The photos show a unique view of the best known prehistoric fortified settlement in Poland, one that was discovered by the Professor and to which he devoted many years of research.
Marek Skubisz is a history of art graduate of the Jagiellonian University, currently employed in Muzeum Żup Krakowskich Wieliczka [The Salt Mines Museum in Wieliczka], in the Departament of Art and Ethnography. His main interest is the old craft of rope-making, which he enthusiastically studies and popularises through historical presentations in Poland and abroad. He realises his artistic aspirations in photography, searching for beauty and unusual compositions in nature. His works have been shown at the exhibitions of the Grupa Twórców “Art-Klub” in Wieliczka, and at individual and group photographic exhibitions in the Archaeological Museum in Biskupin.
Honorary Patronage of the President of the City of Poznań, Mr. Ryszard Grobelny.
An isle in the sea of sand. Petroglyphs at Dakhla Oasis in the Western Desert6 June - 31 August 2014
Exhibition curator: mgr Paweł Polkowski
The most recent exhibition of the Close encounters with… cycle presents the rock engravings left by the inhabitants of the distant Dakhla Oasis in the Western Desert many thousands years ago. The exhibition is open from 6th June to the end of August 2014. The curator of the exposition, entitled An isle in the sea of sand. Petroglyphs at Dakhla Oasis in the Western Desert is Paweł Polkowski, who specializes in rock engravings in the Rock Art Workshop of the Poznań Archaeological Museum.
We suggest a moment of reflection while looking at the extraordinary images from thousands years back. Rock art is an area of art rarely displayed in museums, even though it is a fascinating topic and not just for experts alone. “Being able to look at the pictures done by people many thousands years ago means being able to listen to their stories”, says Polkowski. “It is trying to see into their minds and perceive the world with their eyes. But trying to guess what they really wanted to communicate is not all plain sailing and you can easily see why at our exhibition.”
The petroglyphs presented at the exhibition were produced from the late Stone Age until the modern times. They are images engraved in rock or stone with different tools specific for the period in which they were produced and in various techniques. The subject matter of the presentations changed as well, with the result that the range of images discovered by explorers is tremendously varied and highly interesting.
“My aim is not merely to bring closer the diverse images, styles and techniques together with their creators, but to persuade the visitor to try to get into their boots”, adds Polkowski. And so all are invited to interactive participation. The visitors will have the opportunity to interpret selected petroglyphs and compare their observations with those of others. In this way everyone will be able to try their hand at being an archaeologist. We invite you to touch the copies of the selected images made especially for this occasion. With your eyes closed you will get transported in time and space to the place where the wind always blows and the sun always shines – to the Western Desert.
The Ćmachowo „crown”21 January – 14 March 2014
Exhibition curators: mgr Alicja Gałęzowska, mgr Jakub Tamulski
You are invited to visit an exhibition devoted to a peculiar necklace form, moulded as a band with tooth-like projections and a hinged construction. The striking similarity of toothed necklaces to crowns made scholars misinterpret them as crowns of ancient Germanic princes or female diadems. The necklace shown at the exhibition, from Ćmachowo, powiat Szamotuły, found already back in the 19th c., was also thought to be a female headdress by some of the then scholars.
Crown-shaped necklaces date to the Pre-Roman period and originate from the territories of Denmark and Northern Germany inhabited by peoples of the Jastorf culture. East of the Odra the rare findings of “crowns” are usually located in the region stretching from north-west to south-east over to Moldavia and Ukraine. Until recently they have been thought to be the relics of the migrations of the Germanic tribes of the Bastarnae and the Scirii, attested in ancient sources, who in the 3rd c. BC were moving towards the Black Sea.
Today the necklaces and other artefacts of northern and western origin are also attributed to the Jastorf culture communities that for a prolonged period after the 2nd c. BC inhabited some of our regions. However, necklaces and other details of Jastorf culture dress (some examples are presented at the exhibition: pins and clasps for fastening clothes, belt buckles) may have come from the milieu of the Przeworsk culture which at the time was developing in the Polish territories.
Usually, crown-shaped necklaces are single finds and the majority had been discovered in the 19th and the early 20th c. More often than not we are ignorant about their context. Only a few “crowns” come from incinerary graves, probably burials of people with high social status, including women and children. The grave artefacts include the two specimens shown at the exhibition: a necklace from Ćmachowo, preserved intact, and a broken necklace from Staw, powiat Słupca, much damaged by the flames of the funeral pyre.
Necklaces with tooth-like projections have often been found in water environment: bogs, swamps and marshes, ponds and wells. Thus, the precious ornaments must have had a major role in religious practices and were used as votive offerings to deities inhabiting waters and wetlands.
Exhibition "Tell el-Farkha. The beginnings of the ancient Egyptian state"22 June– 31 August 2013
Exhibition curator: dr Marek Chłodnicki
25 years ago the site at Tell el-Farkha appeared on Egypt’s archaeological map. The Polish Archaeological Expedition for the Eastern Nile Delta, organized by the Poznań Archeological Museum and the Archaeology Institute, Krakow’s Jagiellonian University with the cooperation of the Mediterranean Archaeology Centre, University of Warsaw, have been excavating the place for over 15 years .
Major discoveries made during the excavations have an immense significance for the understanding of the processes that led to the unification of Lower and Upper Egypt into one political entity.
The Tell el-Farkha site functioned for over 1000 years (ca 3700 – 2700 BC), first as a centre of the local Lower Egyptian Culture, then as an important power centre during the formation of the united Egyptian state. Starting with the earlyOld Kingdom, it was one of the main, or even the main administrative and economic centre in the eastern Nile Delta.
The most valuable finds include golden statuettes of a ruler, a temple deposit containing sophisticated ivory human figurines, cylindrical seals, objects made of bone, stone, flint, copper and gold.
Outstanding constructions in Tell el-Farkha include one of the world’s oldest breweries, the oldest Egyptian monumental buildings made of dried brick, and one of the first known mastaba-shaped graves.
All the finds have stayed inEgypt; the most important ones can be admired in theEgyptianMuseuminCairo. Consequently, thePoznańexhibition has to be limited to the photographs of the discovered objects and architectural complexes. To bring closer the quality of the site, it presents a 3D reconstruction of the main buildings and the layout of the settlement. The exhibition also includes artefacts from Minshat Abu Omar, a cemetery in the Eastern Delta which functioned at the same time as Tell el-Farkha.
The exhibition accompanies the international congress: “The Nile Delta as the centre of cultural exchange between Upper Egypt and the Levant”.
Cliff citiesApril – June 2013
Exhibition curator: dr Małgorzata Winiarska-Kabacińska
The exhibition presents the story of breathtaking cliff cities of the Pueblo Indians inArizona and New Mexico as told and photographed by Joanna Minksztym. It also shows Pueblo Indians’ pottery from the Museum’s collection. Going back for over 2000 years, pottery making is still an important aspect of the life of modern Indians. As a link with the traditions of the ancestors, the skill of producing pots has always enjoyed great respect and vessels of the type presented continue to play a significant symbolic role in many ceremonies.