The Archaeological Department specializes in collecting archaeological exhibits and conducting its own research. The scope of research includes the territory of Podbeskidzie, particularly the area of Cieszyn Silesia. In terms of field research, the Department cooperates with the Jagiellonian University in Kraków, Silesian University in Opawa and the museums in Frýdek-Místek and Nový Jičín.
The collection of archaeological exhibits owned by the Department has a regional character. It mostly consists of the archaeological relics from the area of the former Bielsko province. Those materials represent all the periods – from the oldest traces testifying to the existence of human beings in those territories in the Stone Age to the modern times.
Most of the collections located in the Department come from research excavation. It is worth emphasizing that a considerable part of those is formed by exhibits obtained in the course of our own research carried out in the area of the old town in Bielsko as well as prehistoric sites in the area of Cieszyn Silesia.
The most interesting examples include prehistoric exhibits documenting the oldest traces of the existence of human beings in the area of Podbeskidzie. They come from research excavation taking place in the prehistoric settlements in the Hillfort, the district of Zator, in Jaworze and Cieszyn-Krasna. This collection is supplemented by few donations coming from accidental discoveries, such as stone tools, including Neolithic hatches and axes.
A valuable group of museum exhibits is also formed by medieval materials from the defensive constructions of Podbeskidzie. Those include a rich collection of relics from the castles in Oświęcim, Bielsko-Biała and Kobiernice as well as the fortified manor houses in Spytkowice, Graboszyce and Czaniec. One should pay attention to the extensive collection of various forms of pottery and numerous examples of medieval metal objects such as keys, crossbow boltheads, horseshoes and others.
What is especially interesting is the collection of furnace tiles coming from the Sulkowski dukes’ Castle in Bielsko and the fortified manor house in Spytkowice near Oświęcim. Among those, the most valuable examples include the tiles with coats of arms belonging to feudal lords of the Bielsko city as well as curious examples of Gothic and Renaissance tiles.