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The Kagan’s Rider

During the construction of the M35 motorway on the southwestern border of Derecske in 2017, the archaeologists of the Déri Múzeum excavated an Avar warrior. 

The man, aged 30-35, was buried in gold plated silver bands in oak plank coffin with his head northeast and with full armor. 

His horse was buried beside him, a pair of antlers on his back, a pair of bridles and harness decorated with gold-plated silver pressed fittings.

Of the thousands of Avar tombs discovered so far in the Carpathian Basin, only fragments of armor, usually some lamellae, have been found. The uniqueness of the grave is the lamellar armor. It was the first time that archaeologists have found an example of full armor with all the lamellas in the original position.

During the restoration, several conclusions were made about the components and structure, which could be used to reconstruct the Avar lamellar armor as faithfully as possible. Thanks to the in situ collection, it was possible to observe organic residues (leather, textiles, wood), not only to the armor, but also to wear and other objects.  Some of the belts that were almost completely destroyed due to soil conditions were also rescued.

The man was probably a member of the 7th-century Avar elite and must have been a member of the small Avar army.

The exhibition is open from October 1 to December 31 in the Déri Museum.