The section of an archaeological site in Abasár, where the remains of Hungary’s third king, Samuel Aba are likely to be found, is under excavation, pictures from Hungary’s national news agency reveal.
Samuel Aba was Hungary’s third king, and its first elected sovereign. After Saint Stephen began the country’s integration into Catholic Europe in 1001, the son of his elder sister and the Doge of Venice, Peter Orseolo, became king. Peter relied heavily on his foreign acquaintances and shunned Hungarian nobles, who eventually incited a rebellion against him in 1041. Peter fled, and the nobles chose Samuel Aba, Stephen’s other nephew, as king, effectively making him the country’s first elected Christian ruler.
He was in power until 1044, when Peter returned with the help of Holy Roman Emperor Henry III, and defeated Samuel at the Battle of Ménfő. He died soon after, although the details of his death are not exactly known. According to the fictional account in the Chronicon Pictum, one of the most important sources of medieval Hungarian cultural and court history, after the battle, Samuel ran away to a nearby village.
According to historians, this was most likely the village of Feldebrő. There, Hungarians whom he had wronged caught him, killed him, and buried him next to a temple. Several years later, his body was dug up; according to legend, his clothes were found to be without blemish, and his wounds had healed completely. He was then reburied in “Saár,” which is most probably his family’s ancestral home, Abasár.
Abasár, 2020. November 18th. Péter Komka/MTI
Archaeological excavation of a set of buildings identified to be a palace built around the time of Samuel’s rule began over a decade ago, but after initial excavations, the project saw little progress until this year. Experts believe that Samuel’s final resting place is in the section they are now excavating. Pictures from Hungary’s national news agency, the Hungarian Telegraph Office, show the site being excavated.
Featured photo from Péter Komka/MTI