Istanbul Archaeological Museums
Address: Alemdar Caddesi Osman Hamdi Bey Yokuşu Sokak, Sultanahmet Fatih
Phone: (0212) 520 7740
Web Site: www.istanbularkeoloji.gov.tr
Working Hours: Everyday: 09:00 - 17:00
Located near the Topkapi Palace, on what used to be the grounds of the outer parks of the palace, the Istanbul Archaeological Museums (İstanbul Arkeoloji Müzeleri) were founded in 1881 by Osman Hamdi Bey, the famous archaeologist and artist, known for his painting The Tortoise Trainer, which is now housed in the Pera Museum.
The complex includes three museums: The Archaeological Museum (Arkeoloji Müzesi), the Ancient Orient Museum (Eski Şark Eserleri Müzesi), and the Tiled Kiosk Museum (Çinili Köşk Müzesi).
Of the three, the Archaeological Museum is the largest and most important, located in a grand, porticoed building that includes sculptures from the Archaic Era to the Roman Era, artifacts of various periods that have been excavated in Istanbul, and much more. The most interesting and famous pieces include the Alexander Sarcophagus and other sarcophagi uncovered in the Sidon excavation.
The Ancient Orient Museum consists of artifacts from pre-Greek Anatolia and Mesopotamia and from pre-Islamic Egypt and the Arabian Peninsula. The museum includes a section on Pre-Islamic Arabian Art, an Egyptian Collection, a Mesopotamian Collection, an Anatolian Collection, an Urartian Collection, and a collection of cuneiform documents. The museum includes many unique artifacts, such as the stele of the Akkadian King Naram-Suen, the Treaty of Kadesh, and the Ishtar Gate.
The collections of the Tiled Kiosk Museum include more than 2,000 artifacts of Turkish art from the Seljuk and Ottoman eras.