The exhibition “The First Kings of Europe”, in which about 20 museums from Central Europe and the Balkans, including the National Museum of Bosnia and Herzegovina, are participating, will be officially opened on March 31 at the Field Museum in Chicago.
The Curator for the period of the Early Middle Ages of the National Museum of BiH, Adisa Lepić, explained in a statement to FENA that this is an international exhibition that will be on display on 7,500 square meters and that it will contain hundreds of archaeological objects from the Bronze, Copper and Iron Ages that are kept in the museum collections of Central Europe and Balkans.
The goal of the project, Lepić added, is to investigate and present through the exhibition the development of the political hierarchy of those regions and the ways in which those regions grew from early agricultural settlements into principalities, kingdoms and monarchies.
Lepić says that Bosnia and Herzegovina will present itself with the prehistoric collection of the Department of Archaeology.
“We have sent 13 artifacts from the Bronze Age and Iron Age dating back from the 7th century to the 4th century BC. The items that were chosen reflect the social power and status of an individual within the first communities of this area,” she said.
Of all the artifacts, Lepić singled out the burial complex of a female person with very rich accessories, which was archaeologically excavated in 1902 in the village of Donja Dolina near Bosanska Gradiška.
“The grave belongs to a relatively young person who, according to the number and type of tomb items, probably enjoyed a high status in her community,” explained Lepić.
Other exhibits, she added, come from places such as Ribić near Bihać and Glasinac Ilijak near Sarajevo.
Lepić states that each participating state will present itself with the most significant items in its possession.
“Among other things, the famous rich burial complex from the site of Varna in Bulgaria will be exhibited, and the exhibition itself was announced with the display of a Bronze Age sword that was pulled from the Danube River in Budapest in 1930 and whose age is estimated to be around 3,000 years old. Being a part of a story like this sounds incredible,” emphasized Lepić.
The exhibition is organized by three institutions: the Institute of the Study of the Ancient Worlds (ISAW), the Field Museum of Natural History (FM) and the Canadian Museum of History (CMH).
At the beginning of January 2025, all items from the exhibition will be returned to the National Museum of Bosnia and Herzegovina.