In Hungary, archaeologists have unearthed an ancient fresco and an assortment of ornaments and utensils during a dig on an old church site near Visegrad.
In Hungary, archaeologists have unearthed an ancient fresco and an assortment of ornaments and utensils during a dig on an old church site near Visegrad. Their haul of finds has been increasing as digging continues.
SYNOPSIS: The original church dates from the eleventh century, when Visegrad, on the Danube, was established as a country centre.
In the latter half of that century, a larger church was built on the site, with a deanery, farm and churchyard beside it. In a corner of the church's shrine, a bishop was buried. This tin drinking cup and plate were in his hands.
Arrowheads were a link with a nearby fortress -- the village's first big structure.
Golden ornaments, like this gold ring with a twisted yarn pattern, were found in the graves. Coins discovered with them dated from the eleventh century, establishing that the original church was built during the first concerted spreading of Christianity here.
The fragment of fresco was among the last major finds on the site, and patient work has been needed to clear away at least seven centuries of detritus from its surface. Records show that the church was destroyed in the thirteenth century, and its stones used for a building that became known locally as 'The Living Tower'. Experts say the fresco is unusual, in that its main colour is blue, as shown in the outline of a bird's head which was uncovered with long and careful brushwork.
The fresco had retained much of its depth of colour after more than half a millennium of burial.
The original church here was thought to have been built in the first decade after King Stephen the First was crowned on Christmas Day, in the year one thousand. The King began to convert his people to Christianity, establishing a system of archiepiscopal and episcopal sees based on the county system, in which Visegrad was the first country.