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The World's greatest Munkácsy collection
Branch of Archeology

The basis of the collection of archaeology of the Békéscsaba museum was established by the collection work accomplished in the second half of the 20th century. Due an increase of interest in archaeology, these activities were performed, in line with national tendencies, in Békés county and Békéscsaba and surroundings. Lajos Haan, the famous local historian and vicar of the Evangelic Church, had undying merits in taking the first steps. He was the first to summarize the history of Békés county as a whole.

The first archaeological relics, however, may be attributed to Antal Haan, Lajos Haan’s younger brother, the excellent painter who, in 1850, saved a Sarmatian grave in the area of the Castle Grapes. From the second half of the 1920s Benedek Banner’s excavations are worth mentioning. E.g., in 1926, he recorded data of the graves from the time of the Magyar conquest which had been devastated while building the Palace of Post. Later, in 1930, he started important excavations in Fényes, in the area of a Scythian and Celtic cemetery. He did more excavations in Telekgerendás in the area of the mediaeval village of Gerendás. The 1930s brought about a new revival in the field of enriching the Békéscsaba collection of archaeology. Lajos Rell excavated graves from the Sarmatian Age in Berényi Street in 1932 and Albert Haan did excavations searching for Sarmatian graves in the Parkland Grapes in 1932. In 1933, in Hold street, Benedek Banner organized excavations in the area of a cemetery of the 12th century.

Júlia Kovalovszki, who had a qualification of archaeology, was the first to work as an employee of the museum from 1955 on. However, from 1958 to 1966, the museum had no archaeologist in residence. Already in the early 1950, György Tábori, the director of the museum, performed the tasks of local inspection when relics found had been reported on. In the 1970s, at first, the Museum had two, later three archaeologist fellow-workers. The conditions of storing relics, however, were only ensured for a couple of years; as early as in the mid-1980s, lagging behind was enormous in the fields of restoring and inventorying and processing the material of finds pouring in huge quantities into the Museum. In addition, lack of room also created a serious problem. Four archaeologists worked in the Museum in the 1980s and in the first half of the 1990s (Edit Nikolin, Pál Medgyesy, Imre Szatmári, Júlia G. Szénánszky.) In the centennial year of the formation of the Békéscsaba Museum Association, the Museum was enlarged by a new stack room. Despite that, the problem of storing the collection of archaeology was not finally solved.

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