Museum is known as one of the most important museums in the world. In total, 7,020 objects are being displayed at the Antalya
History of the Antalya Museum
was under military occupation by the Italian’s towards the end of the First World War,
the Italian archaeologists had begun removing relics and treasures they had found in the centre of Antalya
and the surrounding areas of their embassy claiming it was in the interest of the people. To put a stop to it, Süleyman Fikri Bey, who was the Sultani teacher, applied for a post as a voluntary officer of antiquities and in 1919 tried to establish the Antalya
Museum by taking what treasures remained there. The museum first opened in 1922 in the Alâeddin Mosque, moved in 1937 to the Yivli Mosque and moved again to its present location in 1972.
Exhibits at the Antalya Museum
The museum has 13 display halls, a section for children and open galleries.
Natural History & Prehistory Hall
There are three display windows showing fossils from various geological periods, with chipped gravel, hand axes, diggers, bone tools found in the Karain Cave and stratigraphies from the pre-Palaeolithic period to the Roman
period. Karain Cave is 27km northwest of Antalya
where remains were uncovered in the 10.5m thick soil that dates from the Palaeolithic period along with teeth and skeleton remains of Neanderthal human beings that lived in the Mesolithic Period. Early Bronze Age artefacts found in graves, included pots, seals, brush handles, idols and gifts for the dead and came from a site at Semayuk and the most interesting is a grave made from a large earthenware jar where the corpse inside resembled a baby in its mother’s womb.
The Hall of Small Works – I
Here you will find objects dating from 12th century BC to 3rd century AD after technical development and the invention of the pottery wheel that include vases and different styles of embellishment. There are also two windows displaying interesting items of cosmetic materials and accessories.
The Hall of Small Works – II
Here in display windows are artefacts that date from 4th century BC to 6th century AD that include a vase given to Princess Benerike of Egypt, with an engraving of Athena on silver plate, along with bronze statues of Apollo and Hercules and many other priceless objects. In the underwater display window there are relics that were found in ancient sunken ships.
Hall of Gods
Here you will find Zeus, surrounded by Aphrodite, Tykne, Athena, Nemesis, Itygieia, Hermes and Dioskurs and on the opposite side are Serapis, Isis and his son Harpo. All were found during excavations at Perge and date back to the 2nd century AD.
Hall of Emperors
The magnificent examples of Roman
sculpture shown here were also found during the Perge excavations and were produced at the height of the regions historical development in the 2nd and 3rd century AD. Statue portraits of Emperor Trajan, Hadrian, Septimius Severus and many others can be seen, along with walled tombs, grave steles and ash pots.
Halls of Mosaics & Icons
The Mosaic of Philosophers is the most significant mosaic in the museum and was found during the Seleukeia excavations and on its border is the names of the most famous of the ancient “thinkers” such as Solon, with inscriptions of famous orators, historians and mathematicians. Another mosaic found in Seleukeia is of Orpheus charming wild animals with his flute. Local sculptures, bronze sculptures and chipping equipment are displayed along with icons from the Antalya
region that date back to the 18th and 19th centuries.
Hall of Coins
Minting coins is a tradition that dates back to 6th century BC and have been produced for over 2,500 years and techniques and economies are displayed here in an educational order. Coins from the Pamphilia, Pisidio, Likia regions and regional coins from Classic, Hellenistic, Roman, Byzantine, Selçuk, and Ottoman
periods are displayed along with gold and silver hoards.
This section is in two large halls, the first hall has chinaware, porcelains, religious artefacts, insignia, seals, charms, watches, ornamental objects, locks, keys and clothing. The Selçuk chinaware came from Aspendos
and there are some in the Kubadabat style crafted using the Siralti technique and made in the mid-13th century. The Ottoman
chinaware shows Iznik
craftsmanship from the 15th to 18th centuries. Of particular importance and interest is the Seljuk
Qur’an that is a unique regional work of art and on show here. The passage leading to the second hall has calligraphy inscribed plates such as hilyes, naats, icazets and katiğs and the second hall consists of four sections housing carpets, Yöruk materials, interiors and guns. The oldest carpet on display here is from Uşak and dates back to the 16th century. There are also sacks, saddle boas, iğliks, prayer rugs, sills, cicims, sumacs which are examples of the rug techniques used in the Antalya
region and are displayed with the Yöruk black tents. There is a model of a modest Antalya
home showing living and sleeping quarters with bathrooms and displays of arrows, bows, knives, guns, swords, flint stones, powder flasks and scales, oil cans, equipment from dervish lodges, wool spindles, wooden cutlery, local tools and musical instruments.
The Children’s Hall
This hall is at the entrance of the museum and was the first of its kind in Turkey. Here you can see various children’s toys and antique moneyboxes and the children can make ceramic sculptures and help with simple restorations and their works are then displayed in the studio section. The intention here is to awaken the interest of children and for them to enjoy the experience of museums.