Warriors at the crossroads of east and west the Early Iron Age in continental Croatia
The exhibition is opened from December 15th 2004 till January 31st 2005
The authors of archaeological concept of the exhibition and of the texts in the catalogue are: Dubravka Balen-Letunic (at the same time also the catalogue editor and the project coordinator), Lazo Cuckovic, Marina Simek, Jasna Simic and Zelimir Skoberne. The author of special concept and exhibition designer is Renata Waldgoni. The head of the project and the organizer of the exhibition is the Archaeological Museum in Zagreb, in cooperation with the Varazdin City Museum a the Museum of Slavonia in Osijek, with the participation of the Karlovac City Museum and the Zagreb City Museum. A significant contribution to the exhibition in their clearly stated readiness for any form of cooperation, meaning also the loan of exhibits, was made by the Sisak City Museum, the Museum Collection in Topusko, the Museum of Moslavina in Kutina, the Ilok City Museum, the Vinkovci City Museum, the Brdovec Museum and the Museum of Samobor.
The exhibition "Warriors at the crossroads of East and West - The Early Iron Age in Continental Croatia" wishes to present the emergence and disappearance of cultural groups in that area in the period between the 8th and 3rd centuries B. C. Owing to the development of the metallurgy of iron and its ever increasing use the entire period was named after the new metal. This is a period of creation of new, until then unused shapes of material culture, detectable in particular not only in the production of warriors' outfits or equipment for harnessing horses, but also in the modeling of pottery and functional and decorative costume pieces. The changes also occurred within social relations, because the rise of mining and trading sped up the process of social differentiation and the emergence of the ruling class of warriors and traders. Their power and wealth is reflected in the rich grave assemblages furnished by weapons, jewellery, pottery vessels and horse harnesses. At the time, the horse was a highly valued animal and even a status symbol of a warrior - horseman.
In the territory of continental Croatia, one can follow the
development of five idiosyncratic cultural groups: the Dalj,
Martijanec - Kaptol and Budinjak, and the groups of the Colapiani
and the Iapodes. In addition to numerous common features, each
group exhibits certain particularities. In the mid-6th century B.
C. the Martijanec - Kaptol and the Budinjak groups ceased to exist
for reasons that are still unknown. The Dalj group disappears in
the 3rd century B. C. with the arrival and permanent settling of
the Celts in the south Pannonian areas. They brought an end to the
autochthonous traditions and led to the emergence of the new,
so-called La Tene culture (named after the Swiss site of La Tene).
In spite of the Celtic presence in the vicinity of the Kupa river,
the local communities, whom the Classical writers call Colapiani,
managed to preserve the basic features of their material and
spiritual culture. Only the Iapodes (Iapudes) continued to live in
the same areas without significant changes, protecting their
culture until the Roman conquest in the second half of the 1st
century B. C. Although subjected to gradual Romanization, the
reflections of their traditional material and spiritual culture
were visible in that area even during the incipient centuries of
the Classical (Roman) period.
The exhibition consists of a total of 709 exhibits, divided into more than 200 catalogue units. All the exhibits underwent the necessary conservation and restoration treatment.