Aquincum 130

THE VERY BEST – A selection of the finest finds of the past 130 years of Aquincum excavations. New temporary exhibition at the BHM Aquincum Museum, 14 June – 31 October 2024

The BHM Aquincum Museum opened its doors to the public 130 years ago, on 10 May 1894. It was a long road to the opening of the museum, as the discovery of the Aquincum settlement complex had already begun in the final quarter of the 18th century. It took a great number of exciting and spectacular archaeological excavations (e.g. the Aquincum Civil Town amphitheatre, or – in what is now the archaeological park – the Large Public Baths, dwelling houses, Mithras shrine), beautiful Roman period artefacts, the combined efforts of renowned researchers of the period (Károly Torma, József Hampel, Bálint Kuzsinszky) and visits paid by a couple of illustrious guests (e.g. Crown Prince Rudolf) for Aquincum to become a familiar name for the public and for the development of the archaeological park to begin. In the exhibition, we can learn about the aforementioned researchers, glimpse into the world of past excavations, get to know the finds they brought to light and also find out what earlier visitors have left behind, or what the archaeologists of today can find in the archaeological park. The second part of the exhibition presents a selection of the most beautiful, most important or most interesting Roman period archaeological finds of the last 130 years, displayed in the order of their discovery. Among others, gold coins, a small ivory chest, a mummy portrait, parts of an ornate Roman carriage, numerous sculptures and colourful wall-paintings tell us about everyday life in Aquincum. The uncovering of the finds from Aquincum is placed in the historical context of 150-year-old Budapest and displayed alongside the most important events (presented through image and text). We use educational tools and games to make the exhibition engaging for younger visitors, and those who are curious about the history of the museum building itself will not be left without information either. As a result of recent investigations by conservators, we show visitors part of the flooring from the first third of the 20th century, as well as details of the earlier wall decoration, which evoked the wall-paintings of the Roman period.

Tibor Budai Balogh – Orsolya Láng – Péter Vámos (curators of the exhibition)

Széchenyi 2020
Széchenyi 2020