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Ex Preteritus: the online museum

This site is intended to be a register of accidental antique finds from the Danube region of Hungary and Croatia, known as Pannonia in Roman times, and Sclavonia or Slavonia in medieval times. Farming in the region leans very heavily towards crops over meadow or pasture, which means that most of the region is under the plough. The area is very rich in artefacts from ancient cultures from the Neolithic onwards, and many thousands of artefacts are destroyed each year due to agricultural activity. Developments in farming technology and the growth of chemical use means that many unknown sites and artefacts are in great danger of completely disappearing before they are even discovered. Items that have laid in the ground for a thousand years or more quickly deteriorate after they are disturbed and action must be taken to save them.
At Ex Preteritus, we register finds from possible ancient sites under risk, usually recovered artefacts from the topsoil that would otherwise be destroyed. We also attempt to register casual finds made by individuals. This site features items recovered from plough soil all over the region. None of the artefacts came from registered or protected sites, or have been dug out of archaeological layers, but come from the surface of ordinary ploughed land. All the items archived here are reported and registered with the local museum.

Please note that there is nothing for sale on this site.

Site Layout

Use the links at the top of the page to browse the section and subsections for each heading. The items are grouped together logically and we have tried to make the images as large as possible. Each item has it's own page and are displayed as per the example below. The top line gives the item number and title. The bottom line has a code on the left, and links to the previous and following items in the centre. The other lines give details and a description of the item.

Item 0025: Roman Pelta Brooch
Date 2nd Century AD Pelta Brooch
Size 38 mm x 32 mm
Weight 7.5 gr
Material Copper alloy
Description A Roman 'Pelta' brooch originally enamelled in three fields. Brooch still carries traces of red and blue enamel. Pin and spring missing. Damaged by farm machinery

Your help required! Many of the items here have only a simple description. Some may be wrongly identified or interpreted. A few artefacts have us baffled completely. If you feel you can give a better description, or can recognise an unattributed item, then click on the "Submissions" link, which will then create a simple form for entering and sending data to us.

Work in Progress New items are added on a daily basis. The major work in progress is the section on Roman Coinage, of which the first few hundred coins have now being placed.


This site is dedicated to the memory of a brother in arms and great friend Marko Burilović. Marko was badly wounded in action in 1992 and confined to a wheelchair. He died of complications on 6th November 2006.

Order your copy now!My book of medieval rings is now available. Contains drawings and description of over 120 examples.

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