Welcome to the Bookstore. This room will teach you about the history of runiform script and show you two rare artifacts with runic inscriptions on them found in the Szarvas area. One is a needle case from the Avar period. The iron or bronze needles were pierced into a leather or linen strip which the needle case was pulled onto. A knot was tied at the end of the strip to prevent the needle case from slipping off. Small bone needle cases of the like are often found in female graves from the Avar period, as their use was characteristic throughout the era. However, this is a special piece that stands out because all four sides of it are covered with runiform inscriptions. This is our earliest contiguous example of a runic script. There is another object with a short inscription on display – a cast bronze strap end, also originating from the Avar period. In your travels in Hungary you might have seen that next to the sign that identifies a town there is generally another sign on which the name of the town is written in runic script. But what do we know about these strange notched letters? The boards in the room will show you the history of runic scripts. The Germanic runes, the Turkic runic scripts discovered in Inner Asia and Mongolia, and the Eastern European runiform writings are each covered on a separate board. The runic scripts of the Carpathian Basin belong to the last group in the row and can be organized into three major periods. The first type was the Avar script which emerged in the Late Avar period in the 8th and 9th centuries. These can be found on the famous gold treasure of Nagyszentmiklós as well. The longest text written in the Avar runic script consists of at least 59 characters and was discovered on the needle case in this room. Unfortunately, the inscription has not yet been completely deciphered, but some signs and deity names have been reliably identified. If another record of a similar size was found, we could come closer to understanding the inscription of the Szarvas needle case. The other two periods of the runiform scripts of the Carpathian Basin are the Hungarian Conquest Period and the age of the Szekler script in the 13th century. In addition to the two objects showcased, the boards on the wall also deal in detail with the history of runic scripts in general and their other archeological records in the Carpathian Basin. If you want to delve deeper into learning about runic signs, we suggest you try the runic script games in the room. Remember that runic writing should be read from right to left.
Welcome to the Jewelry Store. Through the artifacts displayed here, we will guide you through the history of local jewelry. Throughout the journey, you will learn what kinds of jewelry were worn by the people of ancient times and how jewelry evolved as time progressed. Entering the room, you will see the first display case on the left-hand side with prehistoric jewelry. In addition to simple amulets, you can also observe pieces made of sea shells and sea snail shells, providing indisputable evidence that long-distance trade existed as early as prehistoric times. Besides Bronze Age jewelry, there are also pintaderas exhibited in this showcase, which the Scythians used as stamps on their bodies or apparel, leaving various motifs on the skin and fabric. Some typical knobbed anklets used by the Iron Age Celts are also on display. Towards the left hand, in the next showcase, you can see a selection of Migration Period jewelry, featuring double-sided bone combs from a Germanic tribe called the Gepids and wonderful gold jewelry from the Avars. Located in the counter display case in front of the showcases, you can marvel at the jewelry of the Sarmatians from Roman times. The lively commercial relationship the Sarmatians maintained with the Romans can be very well traced in their jewelry. This case contains several original Roman pieces, as well as other adornments made in the Roman style. The most distinctive piece of jewelry of the era was the fibula, an ornately crafted clothespin holding together the Romanized toga-like clothes of its wearer. The Sarmatians used a great many pearls for necklaces and bracelets, and also adorned the borders of their clothes with pearls. We know that Sarmatian women wore pants because of the placement of the beads in their graves, which were crafted from glass paste and various stones, including amber. The bracelet placed in the center of the room is related to the conquering Hungarians. Originally, it was a hinged strap bangle made in the Byzantine style. Due to its great value, the bracelet was probably already cut into pieces by the heirs of its first owner, so only these two chunks survived. The mythical animal figures and plant motifs decorating the bracelet were characteristic of pieces owned by the highest-ranking conquerors. Finally, nearing the entrance again around the room in the showcase next to the door, you can see some of the simple pieces from the Conquest Period as well as medieval Hungarian jewelry. In addition to introducing certain ancient cosmetic practices, the boards on the wall will offer you a more comprehensive look at the connections between jewelry and social aspects and at the impact of the belief system that lay behind how people used to wear these pieces.