17 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.