19 October 2012 – 13 January 2013

Exhibition curators:  Agnieszka Drejer-Kowalska, Kamila Dolata-Goszcz

You are invited to an amazing journey in time and space – a journey to the forgotten Caucasian lands and the endless steppes  north of the Black Sea. It is a journey that follows the tracks of exceptional travellers and explorers from the late 19th to the early 20th cent. whose archaeological passion had led to uncharted territories. The artefacts they found, and which can be seen at our exhibition, reveal  just a small fragment  of the complex and varied history of the peoples that over millennia had inhabited the diverse landscape.

An archaeological journey to the Black Sea and the Caucasusis particularly interesting since it was here, on the fringes of the ancient world, that very different  traditions met and mingled. There was brisk trading and cultural exchange between the Greek and then Roman West, the peoples of Asia Minorand the steppes. Its location made it  frequently an area of military conflicts, a region where successive peoples followed one another while preserving the memory of their predecessors. Today all that remains of this rich cultural mosaic are rare descriptions by ancient geographers, ruins of ancient cities, mysterious burial mounds of Scythian rulers, artefacts of astounding intricacy and beauty  – objects which tell the story of long-forgotten lords. At the exhibition you can admire a unique decorated pre-Scythian copper cauldron, intricate silver amulet boxes, beautiful jewellery and elements of dress, antique mirrors produced in the Greek  Black Sea cities, decorated harness pieces of the  nomads from the East, their awesome battle axes and daggers, a helmet with a cuneiform inscription. The artefacts date from mid-2nd millennium  BC to the 7th  century AD.

The exhibition is also a story of explorers and collectors who contributed to our  knowledge about this fascinating  region. Even though the Caucasus and the shores of the Black Sea had long been a destination for enthusiasts, the peakof Europeaninterest came at the end of 19th and the beginning of the 20th cent. The widespread fashion for collecting antiquities and the ever-improving transport, especially railways, encouraged adventurers to go on  journeys to faraway lands, searching for  traces of the  distant past. They included archaeologists, physicians, engineers, keen travellers, who often risked their lives looking for adventure. Wealthy collectors would spent fortunes to purchase artefacts which they later often donated to museums. The exhibition presents biograms of a few such prominent turn-of- the-century figures: Rudolf Virchov, Waldemar Belck, Max Ebert, Godfryd Ossowski, Johannes von Diergardt and Józef Choynowski.


Muzeum Archeologiczne,Poznań

Museum für Vor- und Frühgeschichte, Staatliche Museen zuBerlin


The exhibits presented at the exhibition come from:

Museum für Vor- und Frühgeschichte, Staatliche Museen zuBerlin

Państwowe Muzeum Archeologiczne, Warszawa

Muzeum Archeologiczne, Kraków