Istanbul Archaeology Museum
Directorate of Istanbul Archeology Museums that is dependent on the
General Directorate of Monuments and Museums of the Ministry of Culture of
the Republic of Turkey is on the Osman Hamdi Bey Ascent that opens to the
Topkapı Palace Museum from the right of the Gülhane Park Entry which is
in the Sultanahmet district.
Museums consist of three museums. Those are Archeology Museum, Old Eastern
Works Museum and Enameled Kiosk Museum.
Museums, which were established as Müze-i Humayun (Empire Museum) by the
famous artist and museum director Osman Hamdi Bey at the end of the 19th
century, were opened to public on June 13, 1891. Besides its importance as
the first Turkish museum, it has an importance and specialty being
one of the museum buildings that are constructed as a Museum in the World.
Today, it still protects its outstanding place in the Worlds biggest
museums with its works more than a million belonging to various cultures.
In the museum
collections, there are rich and very important works of art belonging to
various civilizations from the regions from Balkans to Africa, from
Anatolia and Mesopotamia to Arab Peninsula and Afghanistan that were in
the borders of the Ottoman Empire.
Museum consists of two separate buildings.
I) MAIN BUILDING
Its construction was
started in 1881 by Osman Hamdi Bey and with the additions in 1902 and 1908
it gained its latest form. Its architect is Alexander Vallaury. The outer
face of the building was made by inspiring from the Sarcophagus of Alexandre
the Great and
Crying Women Sarcophagus. It is a beautiful example of neoclassical buildings in
On the upper floor
of the two-flat building there are small stone works, pots and pans, small
terracotta statues, the Treasure Department and approximately 800.000
Ottoman coins, seals, decorations, medals and Non-Muslim and Muslim Coin
Cabinets, in which coin moulds were kept, and a Library with approximately
On the bottom floor
saloons of the building, famous sarcophagus are displayed such as Sarcophagus
Alexandre the Great , Crying Women Sarcophagus , Satrap Sarcophagus , Lykia
Sarcophagus , Tabnit Sarcophagus that are in
the Sayda king graveyard.
On the bottom floor,
besides the display of sarcophagus, there is Old Age Statuary display in which
statues and relieves from important antic cities and regions take place.
In this display, the development of the art of statuary from Archaic
Period to the Byzantium Period is displayed in chronological order with
BUILDING (NEW BUILDING)
additional building attached to the southeast of the main building is of 6
stories. There are depots in the two stories under the ground floor.
The four stories of
the building are arranged as exhibition saloons. There is "Istanbul for
Ages" on the first floor of the building, "Anatolia and Troia for
Ages" on the second floor and "Surrounding Cultures of Anatolia:
Cyprus, Syria-Palestine" on the top floor. There is Infant Museum and
architectural works display on the first floor of the additional building.
The Thrakia-Bithynia and Byzantium display saloon, which was opened in
August 1998, can be visited on the floor under the first floor with the
name of "Surrounding Cultures of Istanbul".
The museum has
received the European Council Museum Award in 1991, which is its 100.
establishment anniversary, with the new arrangement made in the lower
floor saloons and the Additional Building display.
OLD EASTERN WORKS
The building, which
was made by Osman Hamdi bey in 1883 as Sanayi-i Nefise (Fine Arts School),
was organized as a museum with the works made between 1917-1919 and
1932-1935. The building, which was closed to visit in 1963, was opened to
visit again in 1974 with a new display by changing the inner parts.
On the upper floor
of the two-flat building, Anatolian, Mesopotamian, Egyptian and Arabic
works of art are displayed. Statue of Naramsin, the king of Akad, the Kadeş
Agreement and Zincirli statue are the unique works of art in the museum.
Moreover, in this
museum there is a "Tablet Archive" in which 75.000 documents with
cuneiform writings are kept.