The exposition of the Kernavė archaeological site museum invites you to learn more about Kernavė, a UNESCO world heritage site, the work of archaeologists and the results of yearly archaeological research since 1979. The exposition takes up 3 halls that represent the archaeological site of Kernavė, the pre-historic and medieval period (13th - 14th century). The exposition is modern and interactive – the making technology and usage of the artefacts in our have been recreated by professional experimental archaeologists. You can observe their work on multiple monitors throughout the exposition. For our more curious visitors interactive terminals are prepared with detailed information on the archaeological site of Kernavė, its pre-history and medieval history.
THE ARCHEOLOGICAL SITE OF KERNAVĖ
The first hall of the exposition holds visualizations based on scientific research and present the formation of the relief of Kernavė, the way it changed over time and the gradual settling of the area. Three distinct periods are presented - the stone age, the iron age and the medieval period of Kernavė and its importance in the context of world history. An interactive map shows the layout of archaeological heritage objects in the territory of the Reserve, areas that are already excavated and what remains to be discovered. The given information shows how the settlement of Kernavė changed over thousands of years.
In 2004, the Cultural Reserve of Kernavė was included in the UNESCO world heritage sites list, thus acknowledging the importance and value of this area according to UNESCO heritage protection criteria. Kernavė received the status of an archaeological site.
Also, in this hall you can find a model of an archaeological excavation site. It is a very detailed depiction of an every-day working environment of an archaeologist. In addition to that, photographs dating back to 1979 show the various archaeological research that took place in Kernavė and allow us to better understand the work of non-written history researchers - the archaeologists.
The pre-historic period takes up the longest period of human history - the stone and iron ages all the way up to the formation of first states (9th millennium B.C. - 12th century). The hall of pre-historic Kernavė presents findings of stone, clay, bronze and iron. Non-typical artefacts and Roman coins show an active trade that took place in Kernavė. Various graves and mounds dating back to the 1st millennium B.C. up until the 10th century allow us to learn more about the possible ideas of an afterlife that the inhabitants might have had. The exposition also features reconstructed graves of different time periods along side the artefacts found in them and a grave of a horse, buried for ritualistic purposes. These reconstructions allow us to understand the burial traditions of the past much better.
An exceptional part of Kernavė history is the medieval period - 13th-14th centuries. Kernavė establishes itself as a centre of politics and economy in the early years of the Lithuanian statehood. It was a city of sophisticated crafts with a unique spiritual culture. Crafts and trade flourished and connected Kernavė to the big cities of Rus’ and Western Europe. The medieval city of Kernavė is clearly different from the rest of agrarian Lithuania of the time. It's a city of craftsmen and tradesmen. Jewellers, bone-workers, smiths, carpenters, tanners and potters made the backbone of this city, transferring their craft from one generation to the next. In this part of the exposition you will travel the labyrinths of 13th-14th century Kernavė - its height of power and eventual downfall.