Antalya Archeological Museum
The Antalya Museum is one of Turkey’s largest museums, located in Konyaaltı, Antalya. It includes 13 exhibition halls and an open air gallery. It covers an area of 7,000 m² and has 5000 works of art are exhibited. In addition a further 25 – 30,000 artifacts which cannot be displayed are in storage.
As a museum exhibiting examples of works, which illuminate the history of the Mediterranean and Pamphylia regions in Anatolia, Antalya Museum is one of the most important of Turkey’s museums. The Museum won the “European Council Special Prize” in 1988.
Click the link if you would like a full video tour of Antalya Musuem.
History of the Museum
At the end of the First World War, during the time when Antalya was under the Italian military occupation, Italian archeologists started to remove the archeological treasures that had been found in the the center or the surroundings to the Italian Embassy, which they claimed to do in the name of civilization. To prevent these initiatives, Süleyman Fikri Bey, the Sultan’s teacher, applied to the Antalya post and jurisdiction of the provincial Governor in 1919 and had himself appointed as voluntary officer of antiquities and first tried to establish the Antalya Museum by collecting what remained in the center.
The museum at first operated in the Alâeddin Mosque in 1922, then in Yivli Minare Mosque beginning from 1937, and then moved to its present building in 1972. It was closed to visitors for a wide range of modifications and restorations in 1982. It was reorganized according to a modern approach for a museum and opened to the public in April 1985, after the restorations and display arrangements made by the General Directorate of Ancient Objects and Museums.
Antalya Regional Museum consists of 13 exhibition rooms, 1 open-air exhibition area, laboratories, a storeroom, repair shops, a photographic room, a conference hall, administrative offices, a cafeteria and living quarters for museum officials. The exhibition rooms are as follows:
Natural History Hall
Shows living creatures from man down to one celled animals, charts and pictures, fossils and bones.
Here are exhibited works found in Karain, Okuzini and Sehahoyuk. Karain is a cave, which has been the scene of a continuous series of civilizations. The works range from those of the Paleolithic to those of the Roman Age. Works include animal fossils and kitchen utensils.
Here are exhibited works from the Neolithic, Calcolithic, and Early Bronze Age found in Hacilar. Excavations at Semahoyuk and its surroundings found most of the works.
Classic Period Hall
Here there are works dating from the Mycenaean Age to the Hellenistic Age, including earthenware figurines, wine bowls, and dishes. In one of the Hellenistic showcases is an important statuette of Apollo. Besides these are statuary works from the Roman period, which make up the largest section of the museum.
In this room are exhibited statues of mythological figures dating from the 2-3 centuries AD, Roman period. They were found in excavations at Perge.
Hall of Small Objects
Here are exhibited lamps and glass objects dating from the Roman and Byzantine periods, a gold inlay silver tray found by treasure hunters at Kumluca, incense holders and lamps (6th Century AD). To the front of the room are lintel figures from a tomb found opposite Lymira.
Hall of Imperial Statues
Here are exhibited statues portraying emperors, empresses and other personages from the Roman period. They were found in excavations at Perge. In the center of the room is a large statue of Plankia Magna, a great administrator who contributed much towards the development of Perge during that city’s golden period. There are also statues of the Emperor Hadrian, and the Emperor Septimus Severius and his wife.
Sarcophagi from the Roman period from Pamphylia and Sidemara are displayed here. The most beautiful of these are the Domitias sarcophagus, and the one showing the twelve labors of Hercules.
The Mosaic Hall
Here are exhibited Byzantine period mosaics found in excavations at Ksantos, and icons, from the region around Antalya.
Hall of Coins
Examples of gold, electron, silver, and copper coins from the Hellenistic to Ottoman periods are displayed in here. The most interesting of these are the city and imperial coins.
Turkish – Islamic Period Works
This room contains examples of Seljuk and Ottoman tiles, Anatolian carpets from the Ottoman period, inscriptions, books, candlesticks etc.
Here are exhibited clothes, embroidery, weapons, and metal objects from the region of Antalya. One corner of the room has been furnished as a typical Anatolian house.
A hall in the entrance of the museum was organized as a Children’s Museum, which is the first of its kind in Turkey. In the display windows of this section, there are various children’s toys and antique money boxes. Simple restorations, and educational activity opportunities for ceramic sculpture and drawing are provided and their works are presented in the studio section, in order to make the children enjoy museums, antique objects and to awaken their interest.
In the streets of Kaleiçi there is a museum showing traditional village life in Turkey in years gone by although there are still quite a few communities living like this these days too.
The Atatürk House Museum is the house where Atatürk stayed when he visited Antalya on 6th of March 1930. It is now transformed into a museum where furnishings of that period as well as articles belonging to Atatürk were preserved.