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Archeological objects

The archaeological collection comprises 14,000 sets and 17,000 separate items, which are divided into 38 categories, e.g.
  • weapons (mostly medieval)
  • ornaments and items of clothing (medieval and contemporary)
  • kitchen and tableware, functional and building ceramics (medieval and contemporary)
  • everyday objects (medieval and contemporary)
  • coins (antique, medieval and contemporary)
  • toys and game accessories (medieval and contemporary)
  • devotional items (contemporary)

Separate items
  1. The oldest ones (flint tools and implements) date from the stone age, middle Palaeolithic era (c. 100,000 years BC) and upper Palaeolithic era (c. 30,000 BC); later items (Silesian and Lesser Poland Łużyce culture) date from the early iron age (650-400 years BC). 
  2. The collection of coins boasts 1147 items. Roman coins are the oldest, e.g. from the reign of Titus (39-81)  and Constantine the Great (280-337). Most of the remaining coins originate from medieval times (starting from the 11th c) and contemporary times. Polish coins are most numerous (from the times of the Piast and Jagiellon dynasties and elective kings); several were minted in the Duchy of Warsaw, Congress Poland and interwar Poland. The most numerous are ‘boratynki’: John Casimir’s royal and Lithuanian copper coins (c. 320 items, some of them counterfeit). The other, smaller part of the collection, includes foreign Prussian coins (e.g. Albrecht  Hohenzollern’s denarius from 1546); Silesian coins (e.g. Ferdinand III’s Cieszyn obolus); Hungarian coins of Bela III of Hungary (1172-1196), Louis I of Hungary’s (1326-82) denarius, Maximilian II’s (1564-1576) silver posthumous denarius from 1578, a Saxon coin – Otto III and Adelaida’s (996-1040) silver denarius, a Swedish coin – Queen Kristina’s (1632-54) Riga copper coin, Gustavus II Adolphus’s (1611- 1632) copper coin, Bavarian coins – e.g. Charles VII Albert’s groat from 1737, Sardinian coins of Victor Amadeus II (1666-1732), Scottish coins – Charles I’s (1625-1649) turner - and Austro-Hungarian coins.
  3. A collection of glazed ceramic floor tiles of around 400 Romanesque items, complete or in fragments, made using two techniques: relief and incrustation. So far 29 types have been identified, according to the ornamentation. They come from the first ceramic tile floor of the Roman cathedral dating from around 1250.
  4. A collection of glass liturgical ampullas (24 items) from the 16th to 19th c. They were excavated in 1983 during the cleaning of a drain at the cathedral’s main altar.
  5. A collection of porcelain and clay pipes includes about 890 items. The oldest single substance clay pipe from a well known manufactory in Gouda (Holland) dates from the 1st half of the 17th c. Other pipe heads, from the 17th to the 20th c.  are richly decorated, with inscriptions and hallmarks from Gouda, Cologne (Germany), Baňska  Štiavnica and Terezin (Slovakia), Körmöcz (Hungary), Vienna (Austria) and Rościn and Zborowskie near Czestochowa (Prussia).
  6. A collection of toys made in the 13th – 19th c. includes miniature everyday objects (vessels, tripods, baskets, cups, bowls, etc.), many elements of board games, such as ceramic, stone and glass marbles, bone cuboid dice, pawns and tokens used for gambling, money boxes, rattles and painted eggs; and some musical instruments: recorders, whistles and ocarinas made of bone and clay. Finally, there are bone skates and sleigh runner fragments.
  7. A collection of devotional objects, dating from the 17th and 18th c., includes medallions, crosses, reliquaries,  crucifixes and rosary beads. The most valuable items are a metal gorget and a Caravaca cross.

The most valuable and unique objects from archeological excavations:
  • Mountain crystal pendant in gold setting, 11th or 12th c. (found in 1964).
  • Three earrings: gold, 11th c.(?) (found in 2000); silver, from Great Moravia (?), 9th/10th c. (?) (found in 1982); and silver with a spiral twining, Bijelo Brdo style, 11th c. (found in 1968).
  • A buckle from a Charlemagne belt, gilt bronze, 8th c. (found in 1951).
  • Lead paten from a grave near church B, 11th c. (found in 1966).
  • Pilgrim badges: St. Jacob’s (Atlantic shell, from church B), 11th -13th c., St. Stanislaus’s, post 1250 (found in  1966).
  • Two lead bullas – pope’s stamps: Alexander IV’s (1254-1261) and Martin V’s (1417-1431).
  • Gold ring (wedding ring), from a tomb near the four-apse rotunda, 11th c. (found in 1967).
  • Casimir Jagiellon’s gold ring, from the king’s grave (found in 1973).
  • Gold two-ducat, 16th/17th c. (found in 2000).
  • Container for herbs made of linden bark, 11th c. (found in 1959).
  • Medal commemorating 50 years of Emperor Franz Joseph I’s reign (found in 1990). Medallion for the Spring Festival, Vienna, 1886 (found in 1966).
  • Regiment badge, Austro-Hungary, 1871 (found in 1958).
 

Basket earring.
Basket earring.

BASKET EARRING. Kiev or Byzantium, 11th c. (?). Gold, filigree. Found in the arcaded courtyard of the castle in 2000.

St Stanislaus’s pilgrim badge.
St Stanislaus’s pilgrim badge.

ST STANISLAUS’S PILGRIM BADGE. Kraków, post 1250. Two-sided, embossed in lead, with four eyelets; with the figure of a bishop and eagles (obverse) and inscriptions. Found near the relics of rotunda B.

Earring.
Earring.

EARRING. Greater Moravia, 9th/10th c. (?). Silver. Found in the vicinity of the pre-Romanesque rotunda near the cathedral:
a) the condition on discovery,
b) a possible reconstruction.

Two-ducat.
Two-ducat.

TWO-DUCAT (dubloon). Antwerp, c. 1600. Gold. With the busts of the archducal couple, Albert and Elizabeth (obverse) and the coat of arms with the Order of the Golden Fleece around it (reverse). Found at the eastern elevation of the royal castle in 2000.

Floor tile.
Floor tile.

FLOOR TILE. Kraków, c. 1250. Ceramic, lead glaze, incrusted.

Floor tile.
Floor tile.

FLOOR TILE. Kraków, c. 1250. Ceramic, lead glaze, relief.

Caravaca cross.
Caravaca cross.

CARAVACA CROSS. 17th – 18th c. Metal. Found in a grave in the presbytery of St. Michael’s church in Wawel.

Magdalena Szewczyk-Wojtasiewicz