BARBARIAN TSUNAMI. MIGRATION PERIOD BETWEEN THE ODRA AND THE VISTULA
(19 January - 18 March 2018)


Exhibition Barbarian Tsunami is dedicated to dramatic events in the history of Europe which disturbed the civilization of Late Antiquity between the end of the 4th and the early 6th century, the time known as the Migration Period. Those were the days of intense migration of Barbarian tribes which invaded the Roman Empire with territories throughout Europe and North Africa and they struck the final blow to the Western Roman Empire. They often established their own kingdoms over its ruins. Some of these tribes, recorded in Late Antique written sources, originated from the Odra and the Vistula river basin region which they inhabited in the first centuries AD. They played a crucial role in the events of the Migration Period and creating the new order in medieval Europe. Evidence of their presence on the territory of Poland as well as contacts with other Barbarian communities and the Roman civilization is discovered in different regions between the Baltic Sea and the Carpathian Mountains. These are very often some of the most spectacular archaeological finds from the territory of Poland which are later of great value in museum collections of archaeological objects.

A selection of the most important objects from the Odra and the Vistula river basin region, supplemented with a few finds from the Black Sea region and the territory of today's France, is displayed on the joint exhibition which is based on collections compiled by Polish museums. Most of the objects come from hoards and richly furnished graves. They illustrate the presence of various communities on the territory of Poland as well as their role in cultural exchange and transformations of the Migration Period against a background of events that happened before this period (the 3rd and the 4th century) and afterwards (the 6th and 7th century).

".of the fighting of bold warriors, now ye may hear wonders told!" - the quotation from the medieval epic poem The Nibelungenlied is not only to encourage to visit the exhibition, but also to emphasise that the Odra and the Vistula river basin region was a scenery for significant transformations in Late Antiquity. Here, in the Middle Odra basin, the Burgundians resided before the migration - the epic poem is set in their environment, whereas its historical background is based on the events from the Migration Period.

Exhibition in Warsaw organized by: 
Uniwersytet Warszawski
Muzeum Narodowe w Szczecinie

Państwowe Muzeum Archeologiczne w Warszawie 


Authors of the exhibition: 
Concept: Aleksander Bursche, Krzysztof Kowalski, Magdalena Mączyńska
Graphic design: Karolina Gołębiowska
Multimedia: Michał Dłużak, Krzysztof Dzierma, Paweł Pawlicki, Maciej SzelachowskiArrangement: Izabela Sukiennicka, Anna Ryś
Translations: Anna Kinecka, Monika Witek

Państwowe Muzeum Archeologiczne - Organization team: 
Curator of the exhibition: Tomasz Rakowski 
In cooperation with: Jacek Andrzejowski, Roman Choynowski, Agnieszka Jaskanis, Lidia Kobylińska, Radosław Prochowicz, Maria Kamińska-Kuźma

Brief description of finds (for mobile accessories): www.pma.pl/tsunami