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İstanbul Archaeological Museum Free Tour

İstanbul Archaeological Museum

Istanbul Archaeological Museums are a complex of museums consisting of three main units. The Archaeological Museum, The Museum of Ancient Oriental Works, The Tiled Kiosk Museum. Istanbul Archaeological Museum, the first museum in Turkey, has about a million artifacts from a variety of cultures, brought from the imperial lands.
The interest in collecting historical artifacts in the Ottoman period dates back to the reign of Mehmet the Conqueror, but the institutional emergence of museums coincides with the establishment of Istanbul Archaeological Museums in 1869 as Müze-i Hümayun (Imperial Museum). Müze-i Humayun, housing the archaeological works collected in the Hagia Irene Church, is the foundation of the Istanbul Archaeological Museum. The Tiled Kiosk built during the reign of Mehmet the Conqueror, was converted into a museum because of the insufficiency of Hagia Irene. The Tiled Kiosk which is still under the administration of Istanbul Archaeological Museum, was restored and opened its doors in 1880.
When Osman Hamdi Bey was assigned as the museum director in 1881, there was a breakthrough in Turkish museology. Osman Hamdi Bey excavated in Mount Nemrud, Myrina, Kyme, other Alolia Necropolises and Lagina Hekate Temple and as a result of excavations he conducted in Sayda (Sidon) between 1887-1888, he reached the necropolis of King Sidon and returned to Istanbul with many sarcophagi, especially the famous one; Alexander the Great.
The oldest building (1472 CE) in the Istanbul Archaeological Museum complex is the The Tiled Kiosk. The Tiled Kiosk Museum, which currently displays examples of Turkish tiles and ceramics, is one of the oldest examples of Ottoman civil architecture in Istanbul.
The building, which was used as the Museum of Ancient Oriental Works, was constructed by Osman Hamdi Bey in 1883 as Sanayi-i Nefise school, that is, the Academy of Fine Arts. The architect of the building was Alexander Vallaury, who would later build the Istanbul Archaeological Museum Classic building.
The Archaeological Museum stands out as one of the rare buildings constructed as a museum in that time period in the world. It is one of the most beautiful and splendid examples of neo-classical architecture in Istanbul. It reads 'Asar-ı Atika Museum' (Museum of Ancient Works) in Ottoman language on the pediment. The writing on the tughra belongs to Sultan II. Aldulhamid.
A new museum building was needed to display magnificent works such as Iskender Tomb, crying women Tomb, Lycia Tomb and Tabnit tomb, which were brought to Istanbul from Sidon King Necropolis excavation performed by Osman Hamdi Bey between 1887 and 1888. Across from The Tiled Kiosk, Istanbul Archeological Museums Classical Building, built by the famous architect Alexandre Vallaury, was opened in June 13th 1891.


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.[3]

The museum has a large collection of Turkish, Hellenistic and Roman artifacts, many gathered from the vast former territories of the Ottoman Empire. The most prominent artifacts exhibited in the museum include:

  • Four sarcophagi from the Ayaa necropolis in Sidon:
  • The Alexander Sarcophagus, found in the necropolis of Sidon
  • Sarcophagus of the Crying Women (Sarcophagus of the Mourning Women), also found in Sidon (in fact, the sarcophagus of Strato I, king of Sidon)
  • The Tabnit sarcophagus and the Satrap sarcophagus.
  • The Lycian sarcophagus of Sidon
  • Glazed tile images from the Ishtar Gate of Babylon
  • Statues from ancient antiquity until the end of the Roman Era, from Aphrodisias, Ephesus and Miletus
  • Statue of an Ephebos
  • Parts of statues from the Temple of Zeus found at Bergama
  • A marble lion from the Mausoleum of Mausolus, one of the few pieces remaining in Turkey
  • Snake's head from the Serpentine Column erected in the Hippodrome of Constantinople
  • Mother-Goddess Cybele and votive stelai
  • Busts of Alexander the Great and Zeus
  • Fragments from the temple of Athena at Assos
  • The Troy exhibit
  • 800,000 Ottoman coins, seals, decorations and medals
  • One tablet with the oldest known law-collection, the laws of king Ur-Nammu
  • Two of the three tablets of the Egyptian–Hittite peace treaty (1258 BCE), signed between Ramesses II of Egypt and Hattusili III of the Hittite Empire. It is the oldest known peace treaty in the world, and a giant poster of these tablets containing the treaty is on the wall of the United Nations Headquarters in New York City.
  • The Saba'a Stele of the Assyrian king Adad-nirari III
  • Tablet archive containing some 75,000 documents with cuneiform inscriptions, including one containing the oldest known love poem, the Istanbul #2461 tablet.
  • Artifacts from the early civilizations of Anatolia, Mesopotamia, Arabia and Egypt
  • Siloam inscription, which made headlines in July 2007 when Israel asked for its return
  • Gezer calendar
  • Balawat gates (one gate)
  • Samaria ostraca

Go To İstanbul Archaeological Museum Click here for virtual tour

Kaynaklar : Kültür Bakanlığı / Müze.gov.tr - * Fotoğraflar internetten faydalanılarak alınmıştır

Derleme @erolkaranet - 26.09.2021

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