Archaeological Collection


In a long and wealthy history and tradition of Military Museum, archaeological work, both in the country and abroad during the several decades, certainly contributed to it. Without their field and theoretical work, there wouldn’t be no affirmation of the Museum in field of archaeology.
There are approximately about 700 chosen objects in Archaeological Collection of the Military Museum that belong to periods of Prehistory, Antique and Medieval times. It should be mentioned that collection posses rare examples of coins, jewellery, tools, weapons etc, that testify of development of human societies in this region. Oldest artefacts that we posses date from the Upper Palaeolithic and Neolithic. That period is being represented by large number of ceramic straps, bone awls, several stone chisels and stone axes.
Bronze Age on our territories is represented in collection with small number of artefacts. Most of them date in Late Bronze Age.
There are also several artefacts that date from the period of Celtic settling on Balkan Peninsula: several battle-knives and a double-edged, well-rounded point sword with well preserved sheath with floral motifs engraved. Of course we should also mention a short javelin characteristic by its small dimensions and weight.
Ancient Roman Culture in our collection is being represented among others, two short swords (gladius): type Pompeii and type Mainz. Mainz gladius is found with well preserved scabbard whose wooden sheaths are strengthen with metal mountings. Greater significance to this sword is being given by an inscription engraved on the mounting below the scabbard’s mouth. The inscription is engraved in tow rows: first one reveals the name of the soldier; the other reveals military unit in which he served. The inscription points out that the soldier belonged to the special unit of light infantry which was serving as a border militia. Beside swords, there are also several daggers, arrow points and spears. There is also a part of equipment, a helmet discovered on a site Horeum Margi, Ćuprija. Archaeological Collection also posses over 5000 Roman coins, which were also discovered on a site Horeum Margi. Beside its primary function, coins also have their other values as cultural and historical document of time in which it was made. In our case, these are Roman Imperial Coins that have been used on these territories during entire Antique.
Great Migration of Nations on our territories is also being represented with knives, arrow points, single-edged blades, spears, parts of the belts and cavalry equipment. There is also a bronze, highly decorated double-headed fibula in fragments and two bronze necklaces.
Most numerous artefacts in this collection are one from medieval period, especially larger number of swords. In Serbia, sword was most probably developed from so called German-Slavic type which was straight, double edged with grooves and dull point. Beside sword of types Pala and Sempah there are also three sword of type Vukovac (Wolf). These swords had special significance in the past. Motif of a jumping wolf, inlayed in metal (often in brass) gave these swords special significance as a highly appreciated lethal weapon.
Like swords, there are several maces and clubs in various shapes and dimensions; large number of battle axes and plain axes; numerous arrow points, spears and battle knives. Medieval jewellery of collection is being represented with silver grape-like earring in fragments, bronze application decorated with floral ornaments, bronze elliptical button with ornaments in shape of lily and with one very well preserved bronze ring that has a picture of an eagle with spread wings on top and a Christogram on side.
Collection also keeps number of stone cannonballs that were used by Ottomans for bombing of fortresses Zvečan, Novo Brdo, Smederevo, Golubac and Belgrade.
What shuld be also mentioned are six fortress matchlock rifles, Kukača (Hook) and a small fortress cannon found in Upper Town of Smederevo Fortress. Kukača is a more developed type of first matchlock rifles that had a hook which transfered a recoil on solid base. These rifles were made in Ottoman Empire, and a proof for that are inlayed marks of Istanbul workshop Kayi.

Curator of the Collection – museum advisor PhD Mirko Peković

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