The First Bastion. Pop-up exhibition of an unearthed fortification's hidden treasures at two locations

 

 

 

THE SECRETS OF TREASURES. WHAT WAS HIDDEN AMONG THE WALLS UNCOVERED AFTER CENTURIES? WHAT WAS EVERYDAY LIFE LIKE IN THE OTTOMAN ERA IN BUDA?

Built by King J√°nos Szapolyai, the Transylvanian Bastion under Nr. 9. T√°ncsics Street has been hidden underground until 2018, along with two amazing coin finds as well as numerous other items that provide a great insight into the everyday lives of the residents of Ottoman-era Buda. The exhibition of the Castle Museum presents the extraordinary silver and gold coin finds as well as a number of weapons, perfectly preserved locks, turkish pipes and porcelains. The curators' aim is to introduce visitors to fascinating details of everyday life in the Ottoman era that may provide some surprises to visitors.

 

COFFEE AND PIPES - THE CAF√Č OF FETHI CELEBI IN BUDA

You can get to know how the customs of coffee drinking and pipe smoking developed and how they became ever more popular. According to contemporary sources, the café of Fethi celebi in Buda, not far from today's Matthias church, served customers as early as 1578 - coffee was made even more delicious by flavoring it with saffron or musk. Similarly to coffee drinking, smoking was also popularized in Hungary by Ottomans. Unlike their Western versions, Turkish pipes had stems as long as 1-1.5 meters.   

 

 

THE CONTENTS OF AN OTTOMAN-ERA WALLET

The exhibition provides ample information on contemporary weapons as well as the aforementioned coin finds. Although coin finds are not that rare, finding two of them in such close vicinity and in such a short time (one week apart) is an extraordinary feat for any archaeologist.  

The first one was found by a colleague of the museum with the help of a metal detector on the inner side of the Transylvanian Bastion, not far from its wall. It was probably hidden there by its owner in a textile or leather pouch. Four Ottoman gold coins and hundreds of European and Ottoman silver coins were discovered along with a tiny fleck of fabric in a pear-shaped ball of soil. 

 

 

A week later, the metal detector beeped again right next to the wall of the bastion. When they looked into the small cavity, they found seven Ottoman gold coins stacked on each other.   

 Treasure finds always pose a number of questions. What was the social standing of a person who has hidden such a large sum? Was it their own personal property, or perhaps the wages of the soldiers stationed there at the time? It seems that the two finds are not connected to each other, therefore, they were not hidden by the same person. What we do know is that coins finds were usually buried when receiving news of a military attack such as the Tatar invasion or, in this case, the Ottoman army nearing Buda. The amount of money found here was a considerable sum back then - it was equal to several months' earnings of a soldier.     
 

PORTCULLIS FROM UNDER THE GROUND

The lucky streak of archaeologists have not ended here: they have also unearthed a portcullis together with all of its parts, including the bronze pulley, the gate hinges, the latch, a large lock and a stone money box. A gate preserved in such a good condition has never been found before in Hungary, which makes it even more extraordinary. The exhibition features a model of the gate on which visitors can also try out how it operated.          

 

In addition to the findings, the exhibition also features drone videos, 3D photogrammetry and 3D reconstructions of the site.

 

The exhibition was realized by the Budapest History Museum - Castle Museum in cooperation with the Várkapitányság Nonprofit Zrt. 

The excavation site can be found under Nr. 9. T√°ncsics Mih√°ly Street.

 


 

THE FIRST BASTION
POP-UP EXHIBITION OF AN UNEARTHED FORTIFICATION'S HIDDEN TREASURES AT TWO LOCATIONS

Temporary arcaheology exhibition in the Castle Museum and at Nr. 9. T√°ncsics Street

 

On view: 
25 May - 31 October 2019

 

Curators:
Balázs Sudár, historian and György Terei, archaeologist (Castle Museum, Medieval Department)

 

Guided tours: 
kapcsolat@btm.hu

 

Press:
EmŇĎke Kiss, marketing manager
kiss.emoke@mail.btm.hu