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First Royals of Europe

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Discover the origins of power and inequity in ancient Europe.

First Royals of Europe takes visitors on an epic journey spanning 6,500 years — from the Neolithic Age to the end of the Iron Age and the dawn of empires — when precious metals were first smelted into copper axes, bronze swords, and silver and gold jewellery, and warriors built armies to rule the masses.

For the first time in Canada, more than 700 rare and exquisite objects from 26 institutions across southeastern Europe have been brought together to explore how individuals grew their power by amassing wealth and controlling trade, rituals, ceremonies and warfare.

First Royals of Europe is a presentation of the First Kings of Europe project, organized by the Field Museum in Chicago.
This exhibition has been made possible in part by a major grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities: Democracy demands wisdom. Any views, findings, conclusions or recommendations expressed in this exhibition do not necessarily represent those of the National Endowment for the Humanities.

Photo at top of page:
Gold crown of a Thracian king, 375–325 BCE
Courtesy of the National Museum of History, Sofia, Bulgaria; Photo © Field Museum, Ádám Vágó