|Detail of one of the reliquary plaques|
|The site of the monastery|
Excavations of the area lead by Szabolcs Rosta since 2011 have brought to light the remains of the medieval monastery of Péteri or Pétermonostora. A large, three-aisled basilica was discovered here, along with various monastery buildings. Remarkably, the ruins preserved a large number of important liturgical objects from the church. Along with the ongoing excavations of the nearby cemetery and the remains of the town itself, Péteri by now has become an extraordinarily rich source of Árpád-period material objects. The most famous objects come from the monastery church itself: among several smaller enamel reliefs from Limoges, the most important finds are two enamel plaques, which originally must have decorated a reliquary. Based on its iconography - the scenes show the Washing of the Feet, Christ talking to St. Peter, and the Ascension of Christ - the reliquary must have preserved the relics of the patron saint of the church, St. Peter. The enamel plaques were made in the Rhine region, around 1180. They are kept at the Katona József Museum in Kecskemét, and an interactive feature developed by Pazirik Ltd. gives a very useful overview of them.
|Enamel plaques from Pétermonostora|
Another extraordinary find came to light in 2018: it is a book cover made of bone, with figures of the evangelists and inlaid rock crystal decoration. Here are some pictures, along with some other pieces from several hundred finds:
Excavations of the medieval town of Péteri and its monastery dedicated to St. Peter will likely continue in the coming years and will undoubtedly shed more light on the flourishing life of the Hungarian Great Plains in the decades before the Mongol invasion. To get more information on the site, have a look at this study of Szabolcs Rosta or this very useful 2017 overview by Edit Sárosi or watch a short film focusing on the site and on the restoration of the reliquary plaques (2020, in Hungarian). Pétermonostora is part of the Central European Via Benedictina network.