Istanbul Archaeological Museum is one of the world’s richest collections of classical artifacts, and also includes treasures from the pre-classical world. The museum’s main building was erected under the directorship of Osman Hamdi Bey (1881-1910).
After exploring Topkapi Palace and its secret chamber, I found myself at Istanbul Archaeological Museum the same afternoon. As it was just a short walk away from hostel, I spent the whole afternoon in the Istanbul Archaelogical Museum. The street leading to the museum was lined with stone artifacts.
And also home to Istanbullus cats.
The 20 galleries of the main building house the museum’s important collection of classical antiquities. The new wing has displays on the archaelogical of Istanbul and nearby regions which I found very interesting.
Coloured brick reliefs of lion, the sacred animal of the goddess, Ishtar used to decorate the street in Babylon.
Sacred basin was used as a container for sacred water. It was a gift of Gudea the governor of Lagash to the temple of the God Ningirsu ( a mythology of Assyria and Babylonia).
The code of Hammurabi
A verdict About Murder (2112-2004 B.C)
Frieze showing the battle of Issus (333 B.C), on the side panel of Alexander Sacrophagus. The battle of Issus occurred in southern Anatolia between the Hellenic League led by Alexander the Great and the Achaemenid Persia, led by Darius III, in the second great battle of Alexander’s conquest of Asia.The invading Greek troops defeated Persia.
Next to the panel of Alexander Sacrophagus is the Mourning Women Sarcophagus which also originated from the cemetery at Sidon on the coast of modern day Sidon.
Mummy of Sidonian King Tapnit
The head of Alexander the Great – a roman copy from Manisa
According to ancient sources, Alexander the Great was born in 356 BC. On the night of his birth, the Artemis Temple in Ephesus was set on fire by lunatic who wanted his name to be commemorated in history. In the ancient world this event caused Alexander the Great’s birth to be interpreted as that of a mythological hero. He was 20 years old when he became King of Macedonia in place of his father.
He enlarged the boundaries of his empire until it extended to Iran and India in the east and to Syria, Mesopotamia and North Africa in the south. He was 33 years old when he died in Babylon while returning from his campaigns in Asia.
A statue of Marsyas
The Phyrgian satyr was skinned when he challenged Apollo with his flute. He was flayed alive in a cave near Celaenau for his hubris to challenge a god. Apollo nailed Marsyas’ skin to a pine tree near Lake Aulocrene.
There are many other classical antiquities in Istanbul Archaeological Museum. If you like history, this would be the place for you.