Back

Archaeological Museum of Istanbul photo

The Istanbul Archaeological Museum is in the Court of Janissaries of the Topkapi Palace, on the high hill overlooking the Gülhane Park. It consists of three buildings – the Archaeological Museum properly, the Museum of the Ancient East, and the Museum of Turkish Ceramics (the Chinili Pavilion).

In the main building, that of the Archaeological Museum, which was opened for visiting in 1896, you can see interesting exhibits discovered during archaeological excavations, such as: richly decorated sarcophagi, bas-reliefs, various sculptures and household items of Hellenic and Roman periods.

The most precious exhibit of the Archaeological Museum is the sarcophagus from Sidon. It is believed that Alexander the Great himself was buried in the sarcophagus. For a long time it was thought that the coffin with the body of Alexander was captured by Ptolemy and buried in Alexandria. However, some other burial places are also indicated.

But in any case, the marble sarcophagus of Alexander is of a great historical value. It was made by Hellenic masters of 4 century B.C. The Battle of Issa is depicted on one of its bas-reliefs. The scene is very similar to that of the famous mosaic, which was discovered in Pompeii and is now stored at the archaeological museum of Naples. The hunting scenes with Alexander the Great and Tsar of Sidon are on the other bas-reliefs of the sarcophagus.

At the Archaeological Museum there are also the sarcophagus of spouses with 18 weeping women, discovered during the excavations of the Ancient Troy, the bust of Alexander the Great, the fragments of the Temple of Athene and many other things.

At the Museum of the Ancient East you can see the most precious collection of artifacts of ancient civilizations of the Asia Minor, including the text of the world’s first known peace treaty on clay tablets. The Kadesh peace treaty was concluded between Pharaoh Ramesses II and king of the Hittite empire Hattušiliš III after the Battle of Kadesh in 1283 B.C.

The Chinili Pavilion housing the Museum of the Turkish Ceramics is at some distance from the main building. It is a summer palace built in 1473 by the order of Sultan Mehmed Fatih. There you can admire beautiful examples of ceramics of 15-18 centuries. 

Photo Gallery
View All (20)
Marble sarcophagus of Alexander the great from the necropolis in Sidon (4th century BC) in the Archaeological Museum of Istanbul
The Archaeological Museum is located in the yard of the Janissaries of Topkapi Palace, on a hill above Gulhane Park
Bas-reliefs with lions from the Processions street of ancient Babylon (604 BC) in the Archaeological Museum of Istanbul
The bas-relief of the sarcophagus depicts Alexander the great in the battle with the Persians at Issa
Opposite the main building of the Archaeological Museum is the Museum of Turkish Ceramics (Pavilion Chinili)
Granite sculptures from the ancient Assyrian Kingdom 8-7 in BC in the Archaeological Museum of Istanbul
The basalt foundations for columns with hieroglyphs of the Hittite Empire (13th century BC) in the Archaeological Museum of Istanbul
The marble sarcophagus of the Crying women of the Royal necropolis in Sidon (4th century BC) in the Archaeological Museum of Istanbul
Marble sarcophagus from Beirut (Lebanon, 4th century BC) made in Egyptian style in the Archaeological Museum of Istanbul
Sarcophagus of the Roman era (3rd century ad) from the necropolis in Sidon with the image of the head of Medusa Gorgona
Marble sarcophagus of Sidamara (Roman period, 3rd century AD) from the necropolis of Konya in Archaeological Museum
The marble sarcophagus of the Roman period in 2 BC of Iznik In the Archaeological Museum of Istanbul
Byzantine mosaic of the temple from the Greek island of Cos (2 in ne) in the Archaeological Museum of Istanbul
Lycian sarcophagus from the necropolis of Sidon (5th century BC) in the Archaeological Museum of Istanbul
The sarcophagus of the Sidon king Tabnit (5 century BC) from the Necropolis at Sidon, made in Egyptian style
The mummy of the king of Sidon Tabnit of his sarcophagus (5th century BC)
Marble statues of the Greek period (4-2 century BC) in the Archaeological Museum of Istanbul
Iron chain, which closed the access of ships from the Bosphorus to The Golden horn Bay until the 15th century
Exposition of Turkish tiles in the Pavilion Chinili in the Archaeological Museum of Istanbul
Exposition of Turkish tiles in the Pavilion Chinili in the Archaeological Museum of Istanbul