Z zagadnień ekspozycji zabytków archeologicznych in situ : problemy ekspozycji na grodzisku
ON PROBLEMS OF THE IN SITU DISPLAY OF ARCHAEOLOGICAL MONUMENTS
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Within the complex structure of a „bridge” linking the past with our days in the field of evolution and development of both artistic culture and historical conscience of a society the historic monuments, the relics of the past, no doubt, have their important place. In fact entirely particular position is being kept among them by those of archaeological character since they relate to times from which no written records or sources have survived, or are available in quite negligible numbers. The advances of archaeological excavations conducted in the period of the Polish People’s Republic resulted in a considerable extension of the so-called source material base, i.e. in enrichment of supply of materials enabling the insight into the story of formation of the Polish State. An immense supply of source materials has led to changes in activities of such important institutions where they can be popularized as are the museums. However, this fundamental change that occured with regard to the basic form of the museum’s activities, i.e. display is by far inadequate nowadays. Those serious objectives that are being set by contemporaneity before museums are in a considerable measure concerning the display itself. Today it can by no means be based on scientific information alone that has been furnished by archaeology, history of art or by ethnography. There exists a need to find a creative agent in its system as it should contain a number of experiences of emotional nature that are required by young people, it must emphasize the importance of direct contact with original objects and more still — it should prevent the loss of historical and social receptiveness. A properly thought modern display method should avoid any forms of stereotyped presentation whatsoever that obscures its sense and makes its language more or less conventionalized. The display space should be handled as a place of action or even to some extent as a theatrical stage on which with the aid of exhibits a sui generis performance can be played. The displayed exhibits do not in themselves constitute any information — they only form an informative situation that controls the flow of information in a strictly predetermined manner. As one of possible answers to objectives that are set before archaeological museums by contemporaneity is to be considered the display of archaeological objects in situ. The first attempts to cristallize an idea of archaeological reservation were made in Poland as early as in 1934 at Biskupin. At present the number of reservations whose forms comply to definition by Professor K. Piwocki is ranging as high as to ten. The author distinguishes two types of archaeological reservations: I — a simple reservation, and II — a composed reservation. As the background for such distinction was adopted the form of relics discovered. As the most essential element of the in situ display is to be considered that of proportion between the historical substance and installations and equipment that are necessary to secure the appropriate functioning of reservation and are decisive for the effects and impressions that can be received by visitors. With concern to the in situ display of archaeological relics within the space of an ancient castle the author suggests that (1) the castle site needs to be immediately and inseparably linked with its natural environment which the links should in no way be disturbed by any modern buildings or other kind of installations, (2) regardless of the state of preservation of a castle its shape that survived to our days forms a part of its historical substance and should therefore be protected. The architectural design of display must take into account the following: (a) the necessary climatic conditions (i.e. temperature, humidity) under which can be kept the relics exposed to their action, (b) an appropriate from the historical and aesthetic viewpoint display of relics themselves. In his further considerations the author discussed some examples of archaeological sites within the ancient castles that have already been realized as, for instance, that of Giecz or are now at the stage of designing as those at Kalisz or Bródno Stare. Unfortunately, all the three archaeological sites mentioned above in their architectural designs are far enough from the required respect for the castle solids as the latter have seriously been disturbed by service installations and equipment. The author of the present publication is responsible for general design of archaeological site at Sieradz being discussed here and forming an integral part of the Sieradz Ethnographic Park. The ethnographic part will, however, not disturb the natural environment of the Sieradz castle site as a wide green belt and plantings accentuating the site occuppied by ancient castle will ensure the appropriate proportion between the both parts. As a result of archaeological investigations the following elements have been planned as those designed for permanent exhibition: (1) the 13th-century timber-constructed fortifications, (2) the relics of brickwork rotunda of the 13th century, (3) the negative pattern of circumpherential castle wall built during the 14th century. To prevent the damage to the castle solid preserved to our times it was decided that the in situ display of the discovered relics will be placed at the underground level. None of installations that are inevitable for preservation and display of historic substance will be visible at the ground level. Both system and rôle of the separate components forming the whole display on the Sieradz archaeological site have been devised as follows: Part I — „Prologue”; (1) Projection of a film devoted to „History of Sieradz covering the period of the 6th to 15th century A.D.”; (2) a printed „Guide to Archaeological Site, Sieradz” having special version for young readers with a plastic reconstruction of the castle site; Part II — „Culmination”; Pavilion No 1 housing the relics of the timber constructed fortifications and those of rotunda; Pavilion No 2 housing the negative castle wall pattern; Part III — „Epilogue”; a display of the movable historical monuments coming from excavations conducted on the castle site. It may be said that Parts I and III perform a subordinated, servicing function thus supporting the main part of the in situ display and their location (Part I forming a projection room is housed in an especially adapted to purpose historic building located within the „ethnographic” area whereas Part III in the Sieradz Museum some 500 m from the castle site) creates conditions favouring the exclusive display of relics excavated within the castle site. At any rate, however, the proportion of historic substance to the necessary safeguarding and servicing installations remains an open problem in the in situ display. Nevertheless, it is a duty of every conservator and designing architect to keep this problem before his eyes and to make every possible effort to arrive at its optimum solution.
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