The Museum of Anatolian Civilizations is located in Ankara, the capital city of Turkey. There are very important archaeological artifacts in the museum, which symbolizes the history of Anatolia. You can find information about the history of the museum in this article. In addition, the entrance fee and visiting hours of the Anatolian Civilizations Museum are also noted.
The museum was established with the restoration of Mahmut Pasa Bedesten, which dates back to the 15th century. The museum, which won the “Museum of the Year” award in 1997, gives us many clues about Anatolia, which has been a bridge between Asia and Europe throughout its history.
Before Christ, civilizations such as Hittites, Phrygians and Urartians ruled in Anatolia. Afterwards, Anatolia came under the rule of great empires such as Romans, Byzantines, Seljuks and Ottomans.
Although Istanbul, Ephesus and Cappadocia are the top things to do in Turkey, there are many places to visit as an alternative. For example, you can visit the Hattusa ruins to learn the history of the Hittites, one of the greatest states of the bronze age.
Afterwards, you can visit The Museum of Anatolian Civilizations to learn more about the Hittites. Ancient Egypt and the Hittites had fought for dominance in Anatolia and Mesopotamia. The peace treaty signed at the end of this war is also exhibited in the museum.
History of The Museum of Anatolian Civilizations
The history of The Museum of Anatolian Civilizations dates back to the early 20th century. Mubarek Galip Bey served as the museum’s first art director in 1921. Galip Bey had founded a museum at Ankara Fortress where ancient works were displayed. Some of these works were brought from the Roman Baths and Monumentum Ancyranum in Ankara.
The fact that the museology activities were carried out while the War of Independence (post WWI between 1919 and 1923) was being faught is a proof that the new Turkish Republic paid importance to cultural development.
When Mustafa Kemal Ataturk (founder of Turkish Republic) made a move to build an “Eti Museum”, various works from the Hittites Era were discovered and sent to Ankara. However, the first museum was not big enough to display these works.
Saffet Arikan, Minister of Education back then, suggested moving the museum to Mahmut Pasa Bedesteni, which remained idle till then and Kursunlu Han. (These two structures were the old bazaars from the Ottoman period) His suggestion was accepted and the bedesten (bazaar) began to be repaired in 1938.
Meanwhile, the works in the museum began to be placed in the new museum by a group of experts led by a German archeologist named H.G. Guterbock. The repairing of the sections, however, were carried out by important Turkish architects of their time, Zuhtu Bey and Macit Kural.
Things to See at the Museum
Anatolia was the center of the trade route between Asia and Europe throughout history. For this reason, it became a region that many states wanted to conquer. Many civilizations lived in Anatolia in ancient times. However, the most fierce battles in this region were first the Roman and Persian wars, then the Byzantine and Arab wars.
Things to see at the Museum of Anatolian Civilizations give us clues about the cultures of these civilizations that date back thousands of years and the struggle between them. The archaeological finds exhibited in the museum are arranged in a historical order. In this way, you can easily trace the history of Anatolia.
The order in the museum is as follows: Paleolithic Age, Neolithic Age, Chalcolithic Age, Old Bronze Age, Assyrian Trade Colonies Age, the Old Hittite Age and Hittite Imperial Age, Urartian Kingdom, Phrygian Kingdom, Lydia Era, Anatolian Civilizations from 1200 B.C. to Today, Ankara through Ages.
We can say that the concept of the museum focuses mainly on Hittite, Phrygian, and Assyrian eras, which are classified as Old Anatolian Civilizations. However, before you take a look at the rest of the museum, it is a good idea to visit “Ankara through Ages” and “Anatolian Civilizations from 1200 B.C. to Today” sections that presents a panorama of Ankara and the historical periods of Anatolia. In these sections, you can see the objects used throughout thousands of years of history of Ankara and Anatolia. After you visit these sections, you are recommended to visit other parts of the museum.
At this point, it may be a good idea to mention the Paleolithic Age as this section houses one of the richest collections in the world regarding Paleolithic Age. Most of the objects displayed here were found during the excavations carried out in Karain Cave at Antalya. There are objects such as the remnants of teeth and bones that belonged to Homo sapiens, portable works of art, and objects made of stone and bones.
Egyptian–Hittite Peace Treaty
In 1274 BC, Egyptian Pharaoh Ramses II and Hittite King Muwatalli II fought to share the Middle East and Mesopotamia. As much as the Egyptians achieved tactical superiority, they did not achieve a certain victory. Upon this, the Treaty of Kadesh, which was accepted as the First Peace Treaty in History, was signed.
Old Hittite and Hittite Imperial Age section also houses important findings regarding this period. The original document of Egyptian-Hittite Peace Treaty made after the Battle of Kadesh is preserved here. This tablet was found by nearby Bogazkoy and it’s important to note that this tablet is the only bronze tablet found in Anatolia. Moreover, household objects, ornaments, works of art, statues of goddesses, and reliefs also play an important in the collection of this section.
Museum of Anatolian Civilizations Entrance Fee
Museum of Anatolian Civilizations entrance fee is 50 Turkish Liras as of 2022. Children under 8 years are free of charge. Museum Pass Turkey is valid in this museum located in Ankara, the capital city of Turkey.
Museum of Anatolian Civilizations Opening Hours
Museum of Anatolian Civilizations opening hours are between 10:00 am and 5 pm between 1 April and 1 November, which is considered summer season. The museum closes at 4 pm in the winter season.
Visiting times of the Museum of Anatolian Civilizations may change due to some events and renovations. So, before you go, you can visit the museum’s official website to see the latest status.
Visiting the Museum of Anatolian Civilizations is an ideal option for those who want to do something different in Turkey. You can find information about off the beaten places in Turkey in the ABOUT TURKEY category on this site.
These activities include watching the sunrise at Mount Nemrut, discovering early Christianity at the Sumela Monastery or trace the oldest temple in the world at Gobekli Tepe. You can also visit Ani ruins located at the zero point of the Turkey-Armenia border.
Written by Serhat Engul
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