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LATE ROMAN HELMET FROM JARAK The Museum of Vojvodina is publicly displaying three Roman helmets from 4th century. Particular attention is paid to… Read More
LATE ROMAN HELMET FROM JARAK The Museum of Vojvodina is publicly displaying three Roman helmets from 4th century. Particular attention is paid to the helmet from Jarak, purchased by the Museum of Vojvodina in 2006. From 12 May through 22 May 2009 Late Roman helmet from Jarak Fourth century gilt Roman helmet was recently discovered in the vicinity of Jarak village, 17 km southeast of Roman Sirmium. Small pieces of the helmet were found in a small, grey pottery jug. The discoverer, not knowing anything about their provenience, straightened the fragments of gilt silver sheet, and attached them to a cardboard. The process of reconstruction has been difficult and enduring. Even more difficult and time consuming was the process of archaeological reconstruction of a certain event in the past that caused the destruction of such a lavish object. This is our interpretation of the lifecycle of this precious find: the helmet may have been produced by an unknown craftsman who gilt and adorned silver sheets, and nailed them to the iron base, lining the edges with leather. Decoration of the surface followed. A helmet like this one could have been worn by a high ranking Roman cavalry officer, whose life and destiny are beyond our comprehension. The helmet, however, could have become a fortunate catch for someone who ultimately calved the rivets, and peeled off the gilt sheets, tearing them into pieces. These fragments were then deposited into the pottery jug, which was buried as a hoard of sorts, or, again, for reasons unknown to us. The abundance and diversity of archaeological finds from the village Jarak and its surroundings suggest that certain Celtic and Pannonian tribes, which occupied this territory in the 1st century B.C., as a pre-Roman population, had many contacts with Romans. Several archaeological finds, as well as the important geographic position of the modern-day Jarak also suggest the possibility of a later Roman settlement. The historical sources mention the Roman station Fossis, as the last station of the Sirmium territory, situated on a possible route of the Roman road towards Bassianae. Bassianae was once a prominent town in Roman Pannonia (today near the village Donji Petrovci, east of Ruma). The meaning of Latin word Fossae �" canal, ditch, led scientist to initially identify the station Fossis with modern-day Jarak. The latter archaeological excavations showed that the road from Sirmium actually led to the village Šašinci, meaning that Fossis should be searched for near this village and not Jarak. Late Roman helmets from Berkasovo Two famous Roman helmets from Berkasovo arrived at the Museum of Vojvodina in 1955. A local woman discovered them while doing agricultural work in the field. Ensuing archeological excavation shawed that the helmets were buried together with two snaffles and a few silver pieces, appliqués from a belt. The second helmet, the less decorated Helmet no. 2, served as a model for the reconstruction of the helmet from Jarak. The inscription VICIT [LIC]INIANA associated Helmet no. 2 with the early 4th century and the war between Constantine, the subsequent great Roman emperor, and his opponent Licinius. Instability marked the period of 4th century in the Roman province of the Second Pannonia (Pannonia Secunda), to which our sites Berkasovo and Jarak have belonged. Since 308 A.D. when Licinius had become an august, Constantine and Licinius ruled together as emperors, but soon became enemies in the fight for supremacy. They fought a war, which ended in the defeat and assassination of Licinius. According to one interpretation, the helmets could have been buried while Liciunus’ troops were forced to retreat towards Sirmium, after the battle of Cibalae (present-day Vinkovci, town in Croatia). The second interpretation, which was based on the existence of another, Greek inscription, pointed out that the helmet could have been in use for a long time before being buried at any moment of the turbulent 4th century. . The Helmet from Berkasovo is arguably the most lavish representative of all known examples of Late Roman helmets. For more than 50 years its splendour �" made up of glass inlay adornment imitating precious stone emerald and semi-precious onyx and chalcedony, has inspired both scholars and the wider public. During this period, the helmets from Berkasovo have been displayed on many different exhibitions dedicated to Roman Empire in our country and abroad. Two of the most successful exhibits attracted close to 800,000 visitors. The first one, in German town Trier (as Sirmium, also an Ancient Roman capital) in 2007 depicted the time of Constantine the Great, with more than 1000 objects from many European museums, including helmets from Berkasovo. As a powerful symbol of Roman might, the helmets were also displayed in Udine, Italy (November 2008-March 2009) at the exhibition dedicated to Aquileian bishop Cromatius (388-408) and the important Roman town of Aquileia, situated at the crossroads of people and religions. Beside viewing these extraordinary objects, as well as other fascinating archaeological artefacts that will be exhibited for the same occasion, visitors will be able to find out more, through a documentary film, about the very discovery of helmets, their archaeological and historical context, and their life in the hands of conservators and curators. Contemporarily designed, the event will be attractive to patrons of all ages and interests. Published by: Muzej Vojvodine, Novi Sad, Dunavska 35�"37 Head Editor: Vladimir Mitrović Editor: Lidija Mustedanagić Exhibition and Flyer Author: Tijana Stanković-Pešterac Associates: Velika Dautova Ruševljan, Miroslav Vujović Exhibition and Flayer Designer: Jelena Dobrović Author of the Sculpture no 1: Dragan Miličić Author of the Sculpture no 2: Jovan Lubarda Helmet Pedestal Author: Nikola Macura Comics Author: Nebojša Pejić Author of the Rotating Pedestals: Ratko Glavonjić Photographs: Milica Đukić and Nebojša Borić Drawings: Vera Vojt Lecturers: Dragica Jovanović, Lidija Mustedanagić Translation and Proof-reading: Tijana Stanković-Pešterac, Slobodan Mitrović, Mirko Švigir Film Directors: Nela Toth, Saša Ljubojević 3D Animation: Stevan Đuričić Technical support: Zvonko Boras Printed by: SCAN studio, Novi Sad Special thanks to: NS plakat, Petras Horse Club, Kunsttrans, Viminacium Roman Town and Fortress Exhibition and the flyer are materialized by the financial help of Provincial Secretariat for Culture (Izvršno veće AP Vojvodine) Read Less
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