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Izmir Archaeology Museum

Izmir Archaeology Museum
In ancient times Izmir was known as Smyrna and this name derived from a beautiful Amazon Queen and legendary warrior female, and is also known as the “Pearl of the Aegean”.

It has a long history going back 8,500 years and was host to Hittite, Ionian, Lydian, Persian, Roman, Byzantine and Ottoman civilisations, all of which left traces over the whole province of Izmir.
 This allowed the museum to have a vast and wonderful collection of antiquities and offers its visitors a fascinating journey through the culture, history and art of the Aegean. The museum was one of the first to be established in Western Anatolia and is categorised as regional rather than local because of the magnificent works of art that are on display.  

The museum was moved to its present location in Konak in 1984 which is in the heart of the Izmir city and can be easily accessed. There are three-storeys to the museum and has two exhibition floors, an open-air display area, laboratories, storage room, repair workshops, a conference hall and offices.

The Exhibition Halls

Ground Floor Entrance Hall

From the centre of the hall visitors get a bird’s eye view of a mosaic housed in the basement that is made from pebbles and glass and was taken from Kadifekale . Also found here is information to help understand the historical evolution of Turkey and for visitors to appreciate the artefacts that are displayed in the museum.

Ground Floor Hall of Stone Works

There are large marble statues, busts, portraits and masks here that date from Hellenistic and Roman times along with figures of Cybele and steles venerating different deities. There is a Roman statue of a Halicarn Assos priest, a Hellenistic statue of two girls from Metropolis-Torbali and many other artefacts dating from both time periods.

Upper Floor – Ekrem Akuirgal Hall of Ceramic Works

Exhibits here range from the Prehistoric to Byzantine times all displayed chronologically showing a vivid picture of Turkish life through the artefacts and has informative information clearly accounting customs and art through each time period. Exhibits include figurines, vases, pottery, hydrias, bowls, urns, various terracotta pieces and masks with many different types of decoration on them including patterns, motifs, plants, flowers and animals. There are also terracotta sarcophagi and a rare bronze works from the Late Hellenistic period of an athlete and a bust of Demeter.

The Treasury Hall

Here are coins made from all different materials along with perfume bottles and jewellery from all ages made with gold, silver, precious and semi-precious stones.

The Garden Exhibition

Here you will find a rich collection of sarcophagi, steles, statues, friezes, phalluses and other artefacts dating from many different time periods, and there is a long frieze that has reliefs of garlands of fruit and male and female heads that was brought from Aphrodisias and dates back to the 2nd century AD and is well worth a visit.

Opening Hours

(Tel. 0232 489 0796 open 08:30-12:00 & 13:00-17:00 closed on Mondays)  

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Stuffed Vine Leaves - Vegetable Mezes

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