There’s something about Pompeii

            It is no wonder that people in most historical times feared the force of nature, and prayed to the gods so that nothing bad would happen. One extreme example that supports the idea of this worry was the eruption of Mount Vesuvius. The angry volcano devastated several cities and farms, burying the whole area with stone and ash. As a result, Pompeii, Herculaneum, Stabiae and the whole area became a sealed history, offering the opportunity to be rediscovered.

pompeii hir

            The Pompeii – Life and death in the shadow of Vesuvius exhibition is set in Kraków until the 8th of March, so our team decided to visit it. Frescoes of the highest quality, objects related to everyday life, agriculture, households, luxury, busts and statues of marble and bronze, which once stood in the forum of the flourishing city of Pompeii, testify the grandness which was erased in 20 hours. Of course, the exhibits are gorgeous, but seeing the data about the eruption and the results, one can only have mixed feelings regarding this story.  These puzzles of history, put very well into context in the exhibition must be seen in order to be understood.

Retrospect 2019/ Welcome 2020

People say, that it is better to leave the past behind and always look forward to what is coming. But this would object the whole purpose of our profession. So as people who constantly look back, we decided to refresh the memories of the past year.

Last year can be characterized as being colorful and active. As a good start, potato fields became part of the archaeological park and a house and courtyard was purchased. Experimental archaeology was also part of our activities. During spring time an experimental garden was founded with herbs, flowers and vegetables, which once were part of the flora of the Roman environment. Related to this, as theme of the Night of the Museums, we made pickles and vinegar-fruits after ancient receipts. This was a total success and we can approve that the pickles are still good. Many people tasted, also a month ago and the feedback is truly positive. The Roman Festival, despite the rainy mood of Jupiter, attracted many people, who enjoyed the wonders of the Orient.

As for the excavations, the principia and the whole site is starting to bloom from the point of view of information and a whole new, or better said old world is showing itself.  This year we follow the same way and we have new plans as well. So welcome 2020, we will be back with fresh news soon.

hir 2020

IIIrd Archaeology-Art history workshop

Between the 6th and 8th of December, our team joined the IIIrd Archaeology-Art history workshop in Sovata/Szováta. The event was organized by the Babeș-Bolyai University and the Pósta Béla Association, to whom we are grateful for this experience. The presentations were very varied and interesting,  and awoke the spirits of prehistory, Romans, Huns, middle ages, and delighted us with art. Our team presented the results of the experiment of Gastronomika Romana and  the concept of the archaeological park from Călugăreni/Mikháza.

On Saturday we went on excursion to Mitrești/ Nyárádszentmárton, Sânvăsii/ Nyárádszentlászló, Ocna de Sus/ Felsősófalva, and we had the pleasure to invite the whole team to visit Călugăreni, so we quickly took our chance to set up a third tasting tour of the pickles and the archaeological site as well, of course.  This time we served the pickles washed with a sprinkle of oil, and the feedbacks were truly optimistic. Besides these, a lovely moretum, freshly baked bread and hot mint tea gave cozy feeling of the cold winter day. Since so many people were asking for the recipe of the moretum, we decided to share two variants.


Moretum 1

The first variant is from Appendix Vergiliana, Moretum.

Ingredients: salty cheese, olive oil, vinegar, salt, garlic, celery leaves and stalk, herb grace and coriander leaves.

Preparation: For the procedure you need a mortarium, which can be replaced with a larger mortar. The garlic has to be cleaned and cut into smaller pieces, the herbs should be washed and placed into the mortar with the garlic and the salty cheese. The ingredients have to be crashed and mixed with some olive oil and salt, until it gets a creamy consistency.

Moretum 2

The second recipe is inspired from Columella’s De re rustica 12, 59, 1-3.

Ingredients: salty cheese, olive oil, vinegar, salt, celery leaves and stalk, coriander leaves, summer savory, leek, salad, savory, thyme, mint, walnut or sesame seeds.

Preparation: The leek and the salad should be cleaned and cut into pieces, the herbs should be washed and all placed into the dish, with the salty cheese. After mixing the ingredients we add roasted walnuts or sesame seeds, season the moretum with salt and make it lighter with some olive oil and vinegar.

Bon appétite!




Bon Appétite!  Histories of food in Central-East Europe


The three days international conference, organized in Sibiu by the Lucian Blaga University, offered presentations which pleased science and the culinary taste of the participants as well. Since food and mainly good food has always been an issue for people, it was really interesting to hear about production, culinary techniques, trade, transport, economy of different times and different cultures. The presentations covered themes from Neolithic until the last century and were based on archaeological and written sources, some of the papers presented the results of experimental archaeology. Our team acquainted the ways of vegetable and fruit conservation in Roman times, based on Columella’s recipes, we even set up a small tasting of the pickles and fruit compotes in the coffee break.


As a summary of this nice event, there are some points, which are the same during long long times in food history: food must be kept safe; alcohol is an important product for most societies; food is business; food is a question of culture and possibilities; probably bread is one of the simplest nutriments, but with most recipes, after all it is baked since such a long time.


The story of „rolling stones”, „dust in the wind” and the conservation of heritage. Excavations at Călugăreni


We can happily announce that this years excavation campaign was a success. The research took place in the principia of the military camp and the vicus or civilian settlement, uncovering large areas, which held precious information about the people, buildings and culture that was present 1800 years ago. The team counted 30 people, made out of students and researchers from universities from Berlin, Cologne, Vienna, Cluj-Napoca and archaeologists of the Mureș County Museum.

The research of the principia viewed the south-western part of the building, uncovering several offices, the aedes and the basilica. After four weeks of excavation, the plan of a once monumental building was revealed. Except a few robbing trenches, which only have shown the lowest parts of the foundations, the walls were kept in good conditions, even a nice opus signinum floor was excavated. The vicus team excavated in the north-western part of the settlement, near the Timebox pavilions. The most curious and strange, pipe-like object was unearthed, that we can announce, related to a workshop, but other information regarding this matter will be available in the future publications.

In the meantime, the team also took part in the organization and runoff of the 7R Roman Festival. The day of the festival was sprinkled with water, but even the weather did not stop visitors from enjoying the event. The workshops were saved and moved indoors, we lit up some turibula with incense to evoke the spirit of Roman times. The Barn Theatre was full with curious people, who were seeking the wonders of the Middle-East, watching gladiator fights, military demonstrations and the very popular slave auction.

The one month experience will probably be remembered with joy by everyone. After all, sometimes there was a lot of dust in the wind, although stones were not rolled, but held in their place, where they belong.

7R (Roman)Festival in Călugăreni


The 7R (Roman) Festival is back with full force in Călugăreni, this time Under the Spell of the Orient. The Roman Empire has always been the scene of cultural exchange, this also being the cause of its wealth.

This year the festival’s organisers present a special edition dedicated, as always, to the whole family and all tastes. Military parades, gladiators, battles, slave auctions, exhibitions and museum pedagogical workshops, carriage rides around the village, concerts, these are only a handful of the activities lined up for the day.

Come and join us on the 3rd of August, from 11AM in Călugăreni, for a day filled with programs that will make you more acquainted with the Roman world’s heritage!


11.00–12.00   Procession of the participants: Barn Theatre – Franciscan friary – Ángi house – Archaeological park – Barn Theathre

12.00–19.00   Carriage riding: Barn Theatre – Franciscan friary – Ángi house – Archaeological park – Barn Theathre

19.00–20.00   Closing procession with torches and the Light of the East: Barn Theatre – Franciscan friary – Ángi house – Archaeological park – Barn Theatre




12.00–19.00   Exhibition: A box of archaeology

12.00–18.00   Museum pedagogical activities

12.30–13.00   Presentation: Sárándi Tamás (Mureș County Museum)

                     Limesul contemporan. Cercetarea tranșeelor din primul război mondial [RO]

13.00–13.30    Presentation: Szabó Máté ( Aerial Archaeological Archives of Pécs)

                        Repülés a múltba – Hadszínterek pillanatképei [HU]

13.30–14.00   Dance performance: Ana Maria Marginean (Brașov): Ars Pietatis

14.00–14.30  Presentation: Vass Lóránt (Pázmány Péter Catholic University)

                      Arheologia   Orientului legendar [RO]

14.30–15.00   Presentation: Vass Lóránt (Pázmány Péter Catholic University)

                       A mesés Kelet régészete [HU]

15.00–16.00   Slave auction


12.00–12.30    The oath of the Roman soldiers

14.00–15.00    Archery tournament

17.00–18.00    The battle of the barbarian alliance against the Romans

18.00–19.00    Military exercise of the Roman soldiers


12.00–18.00    Roman camp life

12.00–18.00    Museum pedagogical activities


11.00–21.00    Taberna

11.00–20.00    Rostra (Information office)

12.00–18.00   Museum pedagogical activities



12.00–19.00    Exhibition: The insignia of the Roman legions




12.00–18.00    Exhibition: Bibliotheca claustri. Selections from the Franciscan friary of Călugăreni’s library

13.00–18.00   Guided tours inside the Franciscan friary’s church in Romanian and Hungarian

16.00–17.00    Chamber music: Grazioso string quartet


12.00–18.00    Museum pedagogical activities



12.00–19.00    Exhibition: Folk house interior of the Niraj Valley

12.00–18.00    Museum pedagogical activities



12.00–19.00    Exhibition: TIME BOX

12.00–19.00    COMPASS Bellevue

13.00–18.00    Guided tours around the archaeological site in Romanian and Hungarian

12.00–18.00    Museum pedagogical activities


Sunny Sunday at Gastronomika Romana

            Despite the bad forecast we were facing, the weather was in our favour and the Sun was shining the whole day. The beautiful old house and the courtyard in Călugăreni owned by the Mureș Conty Museum were filled with life again. Not only the breathtaking landscape, but the activities also attracted so many people to the little village.

The visitors could get a guided tour of the Roman ite and the TIMEBOX pavilions and see the newly installed holobox, which presents 3D pictured artefacts related to the Roman body care. Children could make diadems, helmets, and could learn about different types of coronae in ancient times. The ones interested could prepare their own aromatic bag or make clay vessels. The main idea of the day and the most popular activity was to present the different vegetable and fruit preservation techniques used in Roman times. We used a colourful range of vegetables soaked in salt and wine-vinegar and fruits dipped in savoury defrutum. The filled glass jars were quite a tasty view. But to deal with so much feast to the eye, we prepared some food also to taste. The intent was to recreate a breakfast or a meal which was present in most of the Roman households. Therefore we prepared two types of cheese cream or moretum put on freshly baked bread, and mustard with almond and pine seeds. From the positive feedback of the visitors and from the fact that nothing remained to our great joy, we can announce that the food and pickles sector turned out really well. Regarding the pickle and the compote jars, we cannot wait to open them at the 7R Roman Festival on the 3rd of August, to which we kindly invite everyone.





Location: The Archaeological Park from Călugăreni
During this activity we would like to present the different techniques of food conservation in Roman times. Besides presenting the recipes from the ancient sources, we would like to test some procedures of fruits and vegetables conservation. The pickled vegetables and fruits will be ready until the 7R (Roman) Festival in Călugăreni, on the 3rd of August 2019, and the ones attending will have the possibility to taste them.
Partners: Sapientia Hungarian University of Transylvania, Department of Târgu Mureș, Horticultural Engineering; Sidó György Landscape-Architecture.

Space///Power. Architectural exhibition

In the Hall of Art from Budapest, recently has been inaugurated the exhibition Space///Power| The 2nd National Architectural Salon, which presents the Timebox pavilions from Călugăreni as well. The object of the exhibition is very varied, presents the newest architectural creations, the activity of the Architectural Workshop from Miskolc, the activity of modern architect Medgyaszay István, and the block named ”The architecture of light”, which represents space with the help of shadow. The exhibition can be visited until the 25th of August.

The Timebox pavilions were built in 2015 and inaugurated in 2016, and since then they represent a highly regarded attraction to those who wish to visit the Roman site from Călugăreni.

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