Home Exhibitions Előző kiállítások LATEST GOLD TREASURES


The Déri Musem was enriched with a new temporary mini-exhibition. At the exhibition in the Dome entitled “Latest gold treasures” visitors can get acquainted with the extremely valuable pieces of the museum's Archaeological Collection that were unearthed recently.

Gold treasures buried in the ground from the Bronze Age 

One of the treasure troves in the exhibition was found at the excavation site on the banks of the Dusnok stream, which is crossed by the route of the M4 motorway passing through the northern border of the village of Bojt.


One of the sensations of the M4 motorway excavations is the gold treasure found on 1 December 2017, retrieved as a result of István Bacskai's instrumental artefact-exploration survey in the westernmost corner of the area designated for excavation. The 1768 strong gold treasure was hidden in a small, hand-shaped mug made in the early Bronze Age. The mere survival of the treasure is a great triumph in itself - a miracle almost - as the extraordinary trove found barely 30-40 cm (approx.12–15 inches) from today's surface was not destroyed by agricultural cultivation, and even the humus dispersal works left it untouched. One of the specific characteristics of the find is that the small ornaments that make up the trove represent a completely new type of object group, hitherto unknown to domestic and international archaeological research.


The tiny sew-on plates or sequins that are curved in a semicircle, were presumably used to decorate a special dress, headdress, or maybe a textile belt. The extraordinary dress could either have been used by a high-ranking woman (e.g. a ceremonial wear of a priestess), or perhaps it was meant to be a ritual gift offered to a goddess revered by the people who lived here at the time.


The other finding comes from a pre-construction excavation conducted on 25 June 2020 in the centre of Debrecen.

In a rather unusual way, a gold treasure from the late Bronze Age, hidden between 1200 and 900 BC, came to light at the excavation downtown. 


The valuable collection that weighs almost 10 decagrams (approx. 3,527 ounces) and was brought to the surface with the help of instrumental discovery, consists of three parts: in addition to a small, rectangular block of gold, two folded “skeins” made of narrow, twisted gold ribbons make up the first gold treasure unearthed in inland Debrecen. Presumably it may have been the raw material supply of a Bronze Age goldsmith, which may have been hidden in a leather or textile pouch (?) for reasons that are unknown to us today.


Precious metal jewellery from the Early Avar period 

Another theme of the exhibition is the presentation of jewellery (headresses, a necklace, earrings) from the early Avar period dating back to the first half of the 7th century. The headdresses, studded with precious metals found on the route of the M35 motorway at the Derecske–Kösely (Tekeres) II. excavation site, are of paramount importance as these were previously unknown in Hajdú-Bihar county, and only a handful of these occur in the Carpathian Basin as well. These objects – although they show close links with headdresses of Byzantine origin – were made in local workshops based on the embossing templates found in the graves of Avar goldsmiths. 


The two very rich female burials that were unearthed in close proximity to each other at the Derecske site – a little girl around 6-8 years old (“Danuta”) and a young woman aged 18-20 (“Malvin”) – give a glimpse into the costumes of the upper-class women of the early Avar period.


In addition to the headdress studs, another rare item type, the silver plate bead was also discovered in the older woman's grave. These jewels were soldered together from two pressed hemispheres, and in the little girl's burial place they formed a necklace with glass-paste beads, and in the female’s grave with a pierced Byzantine gold solidus minted between 616 and 625 by Heraclius and Heraclius Constantine.


The golden earrings displayed at the exhibition were also unearthed on the route of the M4 motorway, but from another site at Bojt. Archaeologists found golden earrings in six of the 12 early Avar burials excavated in 2018 at the Gulya pasture site called South. Adult mongoloid women were buried in five of the graves, each with a pair of golden earrings, while the sixth was the plundered burial place of an older man showing Mongol anthropological traits, from which comes a sole piece ornamented with four granulations. Based on the open top ring, the man presumably wore the latter in his hair rather than in his ear. The exhibited earrings faithfully present the goldsmithing technique of the era, granulation. This typical technique of ornamentation can be traced back to antique Byzantine traditions, which the Avars may have gotten acquainted with in the steppes of Eastern Europe.

If you would like to admire our “Latest gold treasures” or want to know more about them, visit the Déri Museum until 31 December!







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