Archaeologist’s Day: Rescued Treasures


National Museum of the History of Ukraine, str. Volodymyrska, 2
15.08.2023 → 01.01.2025
Price: 100
Discount price: 50

Archaeologist’s Day: Rescued Treasures

On August 15, 2023, the National Museum of the History of Ukraine opened an exhibition of valuable archaeological finds rescued from robbers and smugglers. The exhibition «Archaeologists Day: Rescued Treasures» is timed to the professional holiday of Ukrainian archaeologists, which falls on August 15.

The problem of illicit trafficking and export of archaeological treasures from Ukraine has become especially acute since the beginning of Russiaєs large-scale war against Ukraine. Fortunately, Ukrainian police and border service stand guard over Ukraines historical heritage. Thanks to them, the exhibition features rescued world-class archaeological finds.

Most of the exhibits transferred to the museum were seized by security forces as part of the fight against illicit trafficking of archaeological heritage. Thanks to the museum’s efforts, including appeals to the public, educational work, and cooperation with journalists and security forces, several extremely valuable sets of finds were transferred to the museum’s collections, along with the information about the circumstances and places of finds.

Some of the exhibits are already in the museum’s collection, and some are in safe custody, as they are still being used as evidence in criminal cases.

One of the examples is a mid-3rd century silver-embellished belt associated with the military culture of the ancient Germans.

The belt was found in the Khmelnytskyi region by a so-called «black archaeologist» and seized by security forces during an attempt to illegally sell it. The museum’s specialists examined it.

The exhibition also features items donated by volunteers. For example, a Slavic hoard from the 6th-7th centuries from the banks of the Ros River. The first items of the hoard were accidentally found by a young couple, who immediately handed them over to archaeologists, giving details of the place of discovery. This made it possible to find even more rare jewelry of the ancient Slavs. Another example is hoard from the Bronze Age dating back to the 3rd–2nd millennia BCE from the Ternopil region, which was recently found and donated to the museum by an internally displaced person from Mariupol.

Many other objects are on display for the general public for the first time: a collection of ancient Roman glassware, a set of ancient Greek helmets with a very complicated history, a collection of ancient red-figure ceramics and terracotta sculptures from the Crimea, Bronze Age hoards, items from ancient military burials, ammunition of Roman legionaries, Hun weapons, Slavic jewelry, hryvnas from the times of Kyivan Rus, and much more.

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