Archeology Museum, Istanbul

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  • sarcophagus of mourning women
    sarcophagus of mourning women
    by magor65
  • Alexander sarcophagus
    Alexander sarcophagus
    by magor65
  • Archeology Museum
    by magor65
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    Archeological Museum

    by magor65 Written Feb 24, 2014
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    The exhibits displayed in the Archeological Museum belong to the most important in the world, although the collection was started only in the second half of the 19th century. The museum complex consists of three buildings: the Museum of Ancient Orient, the Archeological Museum and the Tiled Pavillion.
    In the Museum of Ancient Orient we can see interesting reliefs, sculptures, tools and weapons from ancient Egypt, Mesopotamia, Arabia and Anatolia. One of the most precious exhibits is the Treaty of Kadesh - the oldest recorded peace treaty, signed in the 13th century B.C. between Ramses II and the Hittites. The Museum has also the tiled reliefs of lions, dragons and bulls from the Isthar Gate.

    The most important object of Archeological Museum is definitely the Alexander sarcophagus. It owes its name to the carved scenes on its sides presenting Alexander the Great either in battles or during hunts. Actually, it is most probably the sarcophagus of Abdolonymus, the king of Sidon. No matter who it belong to, the sarcophagus, which looks like a temple with its pitched roof, is a real masterpiece.
    Another exhibit which attracts the attention of most visitors is the sarcophagus of mourning women. It was excavated from Royal Necropolis at Sidon. The figures of women in different poses but undoubtedly in grief have a universal appeal.
    We haven't visited the third pavillion, only saw its interesting tiled facade from the outside.

    I'm sure the Archeological Museum is worth visiting, if only at least for these few exhibits mentioned above. Those interested in history will find there much more. It's also important that the artifacts are well-labeled, with the information both in Turkish and in English.
    You can enter the museum with the Museum pass. Otherwise the admission fee is 10 TL.
    Closed on Mondays.

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    • Arts and Culture
    • Museum Visits
    • Archeology

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    Istanbul Archaeological Museum

    by Dabs Written Jul 21, 2013

    The Istanbul Archaeological Museum is housed in three buildings, the first part of the collection that we visited was the Museum of the Ancient Orient, the highlight of which was the glazed tile panels with lions, bulls and dragons. The main building houses the archaeology museum and the third building is the tiled pavilion.

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    Istanbul Archeology museum

    by Raimix Updated Feb 7, 2012

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    Istanbul archeology museum is one of the most interesting my visited museums, as here much of famous ancient things are housed. Museum consists of three parts – Archeology museum, the museum of Ancient Orient and Tiled pavilion.

    Museum is in quite nice neoclassical building, looking Western, but also some buildings that are Oriental one. I could mention a few very famous items I found in museum: Kadesh peace treaty (the first peace treaty in the World), Alexander the Great sarcophagus, and also sarcophagus from the Royal Necropolis of Sidon.

    Price for an adult ticket was 10 liras.

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    MUSEUM OF THE ANCIENT EAST

    by mtncorg Written Nov 15, 2011

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    The Lions of Babylon - from the Ishtar Gate
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    This museum displays artifacts from the Near Eastern lands that used to make up the Ottoman Empire – Egyptian mummies and the Kadesh Agreement are but a couple of almost 20,000 pieces within this collection. The building was originally a fine arts museum, but has served its present purpose since 1919.

    At the time of my visit the Kadesh Agreement was part of a special exhibit within the Main Building, but normally you find it here.

    Related to:
    • Historical Travel
    • Museum Visits
    • Archeology

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    TILED KIOSK MUSEUM

    by mtncorg Written Nov 15, 2011

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    Tiles from the Peacock Fountain
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    This building is the only example of Ottoman civil architecture built with a Seljuk impression to be found in Istanbul. The museum dates to about 1472. This was the home of the original Imperial Museum when it was founded in 1880. Those exhibits were moved to the Topkapý Palace and other museums in 1939. Since 1981, the building offers magnificent examples of Seljuk and Ottoman enameled ceramic tiles and pottery.

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    ISTANBUL ARCHAEOLOGICAL MUSEUM

    by mtncorg Written Nov 15, 2011

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    The magnificent Alexander Sarcophagus
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    Located outside the west side of the Topkapý Palace are the three museums which make up the Archaeological complex. Dating back to 1891, the Main Building houses magnificent artifacts from the many centuries of the various cultures that have made modern-day Turkey home. Sarcophagi, sculptures, special exhibits make this a place where you could easily spend an entire day or more though not on Mondays as the complex is closed.

    It was fascinating to see the Lycian tombs removed here from southwestern Turkey - see my tips from Kekova for the tombs in the real world.

    Related to:
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    • Historical Travel
    • Archeology

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    Turkiye in a nutshell

    by Tijavi Updated Apr 4, 2011

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    Mighty Zeus
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    This is one of the highlights of my visit to Istanbul, spending the whole afternoon here exploring the wondrous treasures exhibited in its various halls. You shouldn't miss this one for three reasons:

    1) It's the country in a nutshell. As it's virtually impossible for regular travellers to visit every Turkish archeological site, the museum offers visitors a sample of what the country has to offer in terms of archeological treasures, from the prehistoric times to the Ottoman period. I really enjoyed the galleries of statues housing the classical sculptures that could rival those found in Italy and Greece.

    Turkiye's Islamic traditions and roots are also well-represented in a separate building, which is a special treat for lovers of Islamic art. The pre-historic artifacts, also housed in a separate building, are also worth visiting.

    2) It's a great place to interact with locals. The museum's relaxed environment, unlike those of the hurried pace in bazaars and in Istiklal, gives you a chance to chat with locals, and get to know more of the culture. In my case, I found myself learning a lot about Turkish football from art students who are just as keen to interact with the tourists and practice their English. Thanks to them (the students), now I know a lot more about Galatasaray, Besiktas, and Fenerbahce. The only hitch though, was I made the mistake of revealing that my favorite team was Galatasaray to a group of Fenerbahce die-hards!

    3) It's a great place to recharge batteries. Tucked downhill from tourist-magnet Topkapi Palace, it's shaded parks, relaxed ambiance and less crowded halls give visitors a chance to take things on a more leisurely pace. The tea garden outside the museum is a great place to sit down, recharge your batteries and scribble your thoughts on your travel diary.

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  • dutchboycalledjan's Profile Photo

    10 days in Istanbul

    by dutchboycalledjan Written Oct 11, 2010

    Last year we've been in Istanbul for 10 days. No problem: lots and lots to see and do and get of the beaten track. Very friendly people, easy to connect with. The Archaeological Museum, one of the best I've seen, can easily fill one day (I went twice). I happen to meet an Istanbul guy and we toured some of the smaller mosques (which used to be churches). Also, you can visit the botanical gardens, they are in the center of the town, but on a very steep part - so you couldn't build there, and offer fine views. I also did the Byzantine wall, it is not very interesting, but a nice walk.

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    A wonderful museum.....

    by leics Updated Apr 24, 2010

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    Funerary sculpture
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    Exhibits are well-displayed, although the lighting is necesarily dim in some parts.

    Superb sculptures, sarcophagi and funerary monuments abound.

    The 'Istanbul through the ages' exhibition on the upper floor is also fascinating, and includes video of the excavation and lifting of 24 (24!!!) ancient boats and their cargo which were recently discovered during construction work at Yenikapi. The finds from those excavations are stored in hundreds and hundreds of plastic trays within the museum, obscuring some of the exhibits but awaiting proper cataloguing and storage...a monumental task.

    The basement has some lovely Byzantine artwork, sculptures and mosaics.

    An entirely unmissable museum, imo. If you only visit one museum in Istanbul this should be it.

    Toilets and cafe too.

    More photos here.

    Related to:
    • Historical Travel
    • Archeology
    • Museum Visits

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  • muratkorman's Profile Photo

    A museum not to be missed

    by muratkorman Written Apr 14, 2010

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    It's a shame that it took me so many years to visit Archeology Museum in Istanbul. Having visited Topkapi Palace, Hagia Sophia and Basilica Cistern numerous times, I always missed out this great museum. Finally I had the chance to visit and enjoy it. The Archeology Museum has a large collection of Turkish, Hellenistic and Roman artifacts. It houses over one million objects that represent almost all of the eras and civilizations in world history. The Istanbul Archeology Museum consists of three seperate sections: Archeological Museum (main building), Museum of the Ancient Orient (the building on the left from the entrance) and the Museum of Islamic Art (Tiled Kiosk). The ornate Alexander Sarcophagus, once believed to be prepared for Alexander the Great, is among the most famous pieces of ancient art in the museum. You can easily spend 3-4 hours here. It is open from 9 am to 5 pm everyday except Mondays. Admission fee is 10 TL.

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    • Archeology
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    • Photography

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    Tiled Kiosk

    by Willettsworld Written Mar 2, 2010

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    The Tiled Kiosk was commissioned by Sultan Mehmed II in 1472 and is located in the grounds of the Istanbul Archaeology Museum, near the Topkapi Palace. It is one of the oldest structures in Istanbul featuring Ottoman civil architecture and was a part of the Topkapi Palace outer gardens. It was used as the Imperial Museum between 1875 and 1891 before the collection moved to the newly constructed main building. Today, it contains many examples of Iznik tiles and Seljuk pottery and now houses the Museum of Islamic Art which is part of the Istanbul Archaeology Museum.

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    Statues Part 2

    by Willettsworld Written Mar 2, 2010
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    If you turn right after entering the museum you'll walk through six galleries containing Greek and Roman statues. These include the colourful Tyche, the personification of happiness, Roman, second century BC from Bolu; various busts of Roman emperors such as Augustus, Tiberius, and Claudius; plus statues of Hadrian, Marcus Aurelius, and other emperors.

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    Statues Part 1

    by Willettsworld Written Mar 2, 2010
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    If you turn right after entering the museum you'll walk through six galleries containing Greek and Roman statues. These include the colourful Tyche, the personification of happiness, Roman, second century BC from Bolu; various busts of Roman emperors such as Augustus, Tiberius, and Claudius; plus statues of Hadrian, Marcus Aurelius, and other emperors.

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    • Historical Travel

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    Alexander Sarcophagus

    by Willettsworld Written Mar 2, 2010
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    The Alexander Sarcophagus is a late 4th century BC stone sarcophagus adorned with bas-relief carvings of Alexander the Great. It is one of four massive carved sarcophagi, forming two pairs, that were discovered during the excavations conducted by Osman Hamdi Bey at the necropolis near Sidon, Lebanon in 1887. The carvings on one long side of the piece depict Alexander fighting the Persians at the Battle of Issus. There's a colour reconstruction of one of the short sides of the Sarcophagus to show how brightly painted it would've once looked.

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    Sidon Sarcophagus

    by Willettsworld Written Mar 2, 2010
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    This is the first exhibit room you'll come to if you turn left after entering into the main building. The room exhibits sarcophagi from the Royal Necropolis of Sidon (Side in modern-day Lebanon) which were unearthed by Osman Hamdi Bey in 1887 and in 1891 he persuaded the sultan to build the museum to house them.

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