SELECTION OF ARTIFACTS FROM THE CLOSED SECTIONS
The exhibition of the selected artifacts from the closed sections 13-20 can be visited in New Building Assos Hall.
102ND ANNIVERSARY OF THE DEATH OF OSMAN HAMDİ BEY
On 25th February 2012, which is the 102nd Anniversary of the Death of Osman Hamdi Bey, the directorate and the kurators of İstanbul Archaeological Museums visited the grave and the house of Osman Hamdi Bey in Eskihisar. The trip is realized by the support of TÜRSAB (The Association of Turkish Travel Agencies), The Municipality of İzmit and the Director of İzmit Museum, İlksen Özbay.
- 120TH FOUNDATION DAY OF THE MUSEUM
CLOSED SECTIONS DUE TO EARTHQUAKE STRENGTHENING AND RESTORATION
Closed Sections Due To Earthquake Strengthening And Restoration
Classical Building Sections 9-27 are closed until 3rd July 2017 due to "Earthquake Strenghtening and Restoration Work" sponsored by TURSAB (Association of Turkish Travel Agencies).6
- ALTIN ÖRÜMCEK WEB AWARDS TO ISTANBUL ARCHEOLOGICAL MUSEUMS
AYDOS CASTLE EXCAVATIONS IN 2010
AYDOS CASTLE EXCAVATIONS IN 2010
Excavation and workshop activities were conducted at the Aydos Castle located in the territories of the Kartal, Pendik, Sultanbeyli and Samandıra municipalities in the İstanbul Province under the supervision of our Museum between 13.09.2010 and 17.02.2011. The excavations were conducted in accordance with the decision no. 2748 of the Regional Board for the Conservation of Cultural and Natural Assets Number V, dated 03.08.2010, issued to meet the requirements of the survey, restitution and restoration projects prepared by the Samandıra Municipality, and with the excavation and drilling permission no. 172859 of the General Directorate of Museums, dated 13.08.2010.
The castle is named after the hill called Mount Aydos, on which it is located. The name "Aydos" supposedly comes from "aetos", the Greek word for "eagle".
The castle, which covers an area of 26,000 square meters beginning from its outer walls, is located on a 325-meters-high hill and overlooks the region in which it is located, like other castles. In terms of its plan, it is situated in the northeast-southwest direction in accordance with the topography, and it has an oval shape. Apparently, the castle was built upon the bedrock, and during its construction, the top of the hill was partially flattened. In order to reinforce the defense, it has two different walls, namely the inner and outer walls. The inner defensive wall has six and the outer defensive wall has seven visible bastions.
In accordance with the requirements of the restoration project, excavation activities were conducted on both sides of the inner wall, in and around the bastions adjacent to the wall, in the cisterns seen inside the castle and around the gates discovered during excavation activities, on water systems and on one grave. During excavations conducted in this limited area, important architectural units of the castle and many movable cultural assets were unearthed. The main architectural units unearthed include the bastions adjacent to the inner wall, wall-walk stairs near the bastions, gates, water systems, cisterns, and loopholes.
Bastions and wall-walk stairs: All bastions unearthed during excavations are made of local stones and have a semicircular form.
In the outer wall masonry of the inner bastion located southwest of the castle, a well-preserved waffle slab decorated with bricks was discovered. This waffle slab bears the architectural features of the 13th-14th centuries. This bastion appears as the most important bastion of the castle with its size and careful masonry.
The eastern part of the castle overlooks a steep valley, and therefore, it is very difficult to climb to the castle using this direction. Thus, the defense needs were limited and there is only one bastion in this part.
During activities carried out around the inner bastion, the well-preserved wall-walk stairs made of local stones and mortar leading to the wall-walk (walkway allowing soldiers to move easily on the higher parts of defensive walls and to defend the castle) were found.
Gates: During excavations conducted at the castle, three gates, located south, east and west of the inner wall were unearthed in total. The gate to the southeast was constructed fully as a gate and in a careful manner; there are traces of semicircular defensive towers on both sides of it. It is known that castles have entrance gates protected by towers on their both sides. Thus, this was probably the main gate to the castle. Apparently, in a later period, the south of this arched gate was closed with stone filling, and it was added to the large bastion south of it. It is known that castle gates were sometimes closed during attacks; thus, this gate supposedly lost its function during or before an attack in order to construct a stronger tower, and it was added to the large bastion.
Furthermore, in the area east of the castle, where the beginning and end of the inner wall intersects, a floor the ground of which is made of Khorasan mortar and bricks, and a wide gate opening surrounded by a marble lintel and remains of columns were unearthed. This should be another important gate to the castle.It is thought that the first construction activities for the Aydos Castle also had been carried out in the same period, because of the small finds dating from the 11th-12th centuries. Additionally, on the basis of current finds and our current knowledge, it can be said that the first phase of the castle had been realized in and around the southeastern gate protected by the towers on its both sides, namely the inner bastion. The outer covering system of the bastion that we call the "Başkale" ("Main Castle") suggests that it had been added in the 13th-14th centuries; in other words, that there had been a new construction activity in the 13th-14th centuries. The traces on the same bastion reveal that the bastion underwent additions in three different periods. The lack of small finds dating from the Ottoman Period confirms the information provided by the publications of Ottoman historians who stated that the castle had been abandoned shortly after its seizure by the Ottomans. Architectural features and small finds indicate that the castle had reached its peak use period in the 13th and 14th centuries.
Small Finds: Most of the small finds unearthed during excavations consist of glazed and unglazed pottery and remains of pottery dating from the 13th-14th centuries. Other finds include coins dating from the 11th-14th centuries and remains of ceramic ware dating from the 11th-13th centuries. Almost no material dating from the Ottoman Empire was obtained (except a bowl dating from the 19th century).
Grave: During excavations, one grave was discovered southeast of the castle, next to the inner wall. The preliminary inspection by archaeologist-anthropologist Dr. Yasemin Yılmaz revealed that the skeleton belongs to a woman aged between 22 and 29.
Aydos Castle Legend: The Aydos Castle is renowned not only for its remains, but also for its legend mentioned in Ottoman sources. The main characters of this legend narrated in Tacü't Tevarih ("Crown of Histories"), regarded as one of the main sources of the foundation period of the Ottoman Period written by Hoca Sadeddin Efendi, are the daughter of the ruler (tekfur) of the Aydos Castle and Abdurrahman Gazi, a commander of Orhan I known as the conqueror of Aydos. One night, the daughter of the ruler of the castle fell into a deep well in her dream, and she was rescued by a young man. The daughter of the ruler fell in love with her rescuer. When the castle was besieged by the Ottoman army, the daughter of the ruler, who saw the young man leading the army, recognized that he had been the young man in her dream. This commander leading the siege was Abdurrahman Gazi. The daughter of the ruler sent a note to the man she loved, and asked him to prepare a withdrawal plan, so that she could let them into the city in the night. So, the Ottoman army moved away, like a retreating army. The people in the castle thought that the Ottoman soldiers had escaped. The commander of the Ottoman army, Abdurrahman Gazi, who returned in the night, was let into the city by the daughter of the ruler, the gates of the castle were opened, and Ottoman soldiers seized the castle.
The Aydos Castle should have had an important position in the eastern border of the Byzantine Empire during the Late Byzantine Period, when its territory was shrinking. Between 1326 and 1328, Ottomans seized the present-day Kocaeli peninsula and some of the settlements in the Anatolian side. In that period, the Ottoman-Byzantine border was on the line between Aydos and Pendik. When it was constructed, the castle should have been on a secondary road towards the inner parts of the Kocaeli Peninsula connecting Constantinople to the east.
It is known that the Byzantine State, which had weakened militarily and politically in the 11th century and begun to lose land in Anatolia after the defeat of Manzikert (Malazgirt) in 1071, constituted a defensive network in the whole Anatolia against the Turks. In this period, most of the structures built by the Byzantine Empire in Anatolia were castles.EXCAVATION PHOTOGRAPHS
MARMARAY-METRO PROJECTS ARCHAEOLOGICAL EXCAVATIONS
İstanbul, the favorite city of the Turkish Republic, has hosted various cultures for thousands of years, has brought the eastern and the western cultures together, has conveyed the magnificent buildings of the Byzantine and Ottoman Empires to the present, was designated as the European Capital of Culture in 2010, maintained its importance during all periods of history, and is distinguished as world's one of the most important metropolises.
One of the most important problems faced by this old city, which preserved its importance in all periods of history, during its transformation into a modern metropolis, was the transportation problem. The archaeological excavations initiated in 2004 under the leadership of the İstanbul Archaeological Museums upon the permission of the Ministry of Culture and Tourism, General Directorate for Cultural Assets and Museums thanks to the archaeological finds unearthed during the construction of the stations in Üsküdar, Sirkeci and Yenikapı within the scope of the Marmaray (Marmarail) and Metro projects, which have been developed by the Ministry of Transport and the İstanbul Metropolitan Municipality to solve this problem and constitute Turkey's largest rail network for public transport, are going to enter the final phase.
In Yenikapı, during excavations covering an area of 58,000 square meters and starting 3 meters above the sea level, between 3 meters above the sea level and 1 meter below the sea level, in the cultural layers belonging to the Late Ottoman Period, architectural remains of small factories and workshops dated to the 19th century and a street texture were unearthed. The relevant conservation board decided to conserve the factories and architectural remains on their original site, whereas the street texture has been demounted and put under protection in order to be used as a part of the Archeopark project.
During these activities, which have turned into the most comprehensive archaeological excavations related to the history of İstanbul, in Yenikapı, where a central station is going to be constructed, between 1 and 6.30 meters below the sea level, the Port of Theodosius, the largest port in the Early Byzantine Period was unearthed.
Remains of ships unearthed during excavations and dated to the 7th-11th centuries indicate that the Port of Theodosius, which had been built at the mouth of the Lykos (Bayrampaşa) Creek on the shore of the Sea of Marmara by Theodosius I (379-393) in order to meet the needs of the expanding new capital of the Roman Empire, was continued to be operated as a port for small ships and boats, although it had lost most of its functions due to the silt carried by the Lykos Creek. During excavations at three different locations, remains of 35 ships of different dimensions and types dated to the 5th-11th centuries, namely 13 wrecks at the Marmaray excavation area and 22 wrecks at the Metro excavation area were unearthed.
The Yenikapı shipwrecks, which constitute world's one of the largest repertories as an ancient ship collection, provide important information on the ship types, ship construction technologies and on the development of this technology.
The shipwreck that is called Yenikapı 35 was discovered at the excavation site in June 2011, it has been mentioned as a Byzantine ship remnant in many recent news articles, and it has a special place among the remains of the Port of Theodosius. The present wreck is about 15 meters long and 5 meters wide. The cargo of the wreck includes amphorae of various types. It is one of the largest cargo ships discovered in the port in terms of its dimensions, and the strongest wreck in terms of its wood features. Initial data suggest that the shipwreck is dating from the 4th-5th centuries AD.
The onshore architectural remains of the port, such as the sea walls, the wharf made of large stone blocks and a part of the breakwater, which were unearthed during excavations at the site located west of the Yenikapı excavation area and nowadays called the Plot 100, has been decided to be conserved at their original site, by the relevant regional conservation board. Thus, the station project developed for this area has been cancelled. The activities related to the remains taken under conservation are going to be completed together with the Archeopark project and they will be opened to visitors.
Additionally, the remains of the church unearthed from the port filling during excavations carried out at the Yenikapı Metro area, dated to the 12th-13th centuries AD, and decided to be transported by the relevant board has also been taken under conservation and is going to be incorporated into the Archeopark project.
The discovery of the remains of Neolithic wattle and daub buildings based on simple stones and the corpse in fetal position and the funerary urns around these remains at about 6.30 meters below the current sea level during excavations carried out below the ground filling of the Port of Theodosius seriously contributed to the understanding of the Neolithization of the region. In early 2011, a quite rare example of Neolithic wooden burial structures was found at the Yenikapı Metro excavation site. This new grave unearthed during recent excavations has provided unique data in terms of Neolithic burial architecture. In this new grave, the deceased is an adult individual laid down in fetal position in the southwest-northeast direction. Parallel thin lumbers were located beneath the deceased at intervals, the body was laid down upon them, and the top of the deceased was covered by a large perpendicular lumber, probably a single peace. There is no known other structure similar to this wooden burial structure, yet. The grave is very interesting and remarkable in terms of wood organization. Since it is almost impossible to conserve wood materials in archaeological fillings, this discovery is of great importance.
The Yenikapı Neolithic settlement carried the history of settlements in the Historic Peninsula back to about 8500 years ago. The Neolithic remains unearthed at this site have been observed to be in close similarity to the "Fikirtepe Culture" and "Yarımburgaz 4" phase, which are called the Neolithic communities in the İstanbul region.
During Yenikapı excavations carried out within the scope of the Marmaray and Metro Projects, 35 thousand artifacts covering all periods from the Neolithic Period without interruption and shedding light on the history of the city have been documented and put into the service of science. Additionally, during these activities, the sea fillings that formed layers between the remains of the ancient Port of Theodosius and the Neolithic culture layer have provided evidences that are very important for the understanding of the changes underwent by the Sea of Marmara in the last 10 thousand years.
The Sirkeci and Üsküdar archaeological excavations conducted by our Museum simultaneously with the Yenikapı excavations also provided important outcomes about the Byzantine and Ottoman Periods and shed light on the past of the city.
Although conducting excavation activities at sites affected by the heavy traffic of the highly populated residential areas towards the city center involves many obstacles, the Marmaray and Metro archaeological excavations, the large part of which has been completed, are continued by the experts of our Museum who work devotedly and without interruption.
The Port of Theodosius and remains unearthed in Yenikapı, and the finds belonging to the Ottoman and Byzantine periods discovered during Sirkeci and Üsküdar excavations have produced important outcomes in terms of not only the Neolithic settlement and the history of the city, but also in terms of world's cultural history.
They provided important evidences about the cultural, artistic and geological changes underwent by our city in a period of 8500 years, ship technology, city archaeology, geoarchaeology, osteoarchaeology, archaeobotanics, art history, maritime trade, philology and about dendrochronology.
The Marmaray and Metro Projects, which are among Turkey's most important transportation projects, should be seen as an opportunity for İstanbul. During the implementation of large-scale projects aiming at solving the problems of our rapidly growing city, the needs of which are increasing, cultural assets suffer from a rapid destruction process. However, rational planning has proved that the requirements of modern life are to be met by conserving cultural assets, but not by destructing them.EXCAVATION PHOTOGRAPHS
TUREB HOSPITALITY AWARD
TUREB ( Federation of Turkish Tourist Guide Associations) Awards were given on 21st February 2011 in five categories as "Promotion", "Sustainabilty", "Authenticity", "Hospitality" and "Education of Tourism". TUREB Hospitality Award was given to Istanbul Archaeological Museums.
İSTANBUL ARCHAEOLOGICAL MUSEUMS LISTED IN TOP TEN MUSEUMS
Istanbul Archaeological Museums entered a top-ten list of non-art museums compiled by VirtualTourist.com.
The website published the list to help its members. The site said: "The editors of travel website VirtualTourist.com (www.virtualtourist.com) have compiled a list of the top 10 best non-art museums."
The Egyptian Museum in Cairo, the National Air & Space Museum, in Washington, D.C., the Lower East Side Tenement Museum in New York City, the Musical Instrument Museum in Brussels, VasaMuseet in Stockholm, Sweden, the Museo Nacional de Antropologa in Mexico City, the Anne Frank Museum in Amsterdam, the British Museum in London, and the Tokyo National Museum join the Archaeology Museums on the list. The site said of the Archaeology Museums: "Few areas have been controlled or inhabited by as many different cultures as the region of modern-day Turkey. Therefore, the Istanbul Archaeological Museums serve an important role: Not only do the museums offer a broad sample of the country's archaeological treasures, but they also manage to cover the intertwining cultures that share a role in the nation's history." "One of the museums' three buildings, the Tiled Kiosk Museum¢€¦ houses antique Ottoman and Anatolian tiles, along with other Islamic objects.
VirtualTourist.com members noted that the museums are conveniently located in the Sultanahmet area of the city, and are very well-organized. They also noted that the museums and the shaded parks around them provided a nice change of pace from the crowds at nearby Topkapı Palace ," the site's review continues.
- CERTIFICATE OF EXCELLENCE FOR 2012
KOFI ANNAN VISITS ISTANBUL ARCHAEOLOGICAL MUSEUMS
KOFI ANNAN VISITS İSTANBUL ARCHAEOLOGICAL MUSEUMS
Former Secretary-General of the United Nations, Mr. Kofi Annan paid a visit to İstanbul Archaeological Museums on November 16, 2013 to see Tiled Kiosk Museum and Treaty of Kadesh, the earliest peace treaty ever known.
CERTIFICATE OF EXCELLENCE FOR 2013
Istanbul Archaelogical Museum has been awarded a "Certificate of Excellence" for 2013 by the TripAdvisor.
THE HALL 8, HOSTING THE ALEXANDER SARCOPHAGUS, WILL BE TEMPORARILY CLOSED TO VISITORS AS OF MAY 29th 2014 DUE TO THE RENOVATION WORKS ONGOING IN THE MUSEUM.
A GLANCE AT THE FUTURE ¢€" OFFERING JAPANASE CULTURE TO THE WORLD OF CHILDREN" LECTURE BY HER ROYAL HIGHNESS JAPANASE ALTES PRINCESS AKIKO MIKASA"
PEOPLE LOVE US ON YELP
CERTIFICATE OF EXCELLENCE FOR 2014
Istanbul Archaelogical Museum has been awarded a "Certificate of Excellence" for 2014 by the TripAdvisor.
PRESIDENT GÜL EXPLORES İSTANBUL ARCHAEOLOGICAL MUSEUMS
President Abdullah Gül visited İstanbul Archaeological Museums and Imperial Mint House on July 8th, 2014 and he was briefed on seismic retrofitting and restoration works sponsored by Association of Turkish Travel Agencies (TURSAB)
CERTIFICATE OF EXCELLENCE FOR 2015
İstanbul Archaelogical Museum has been awarded a "Certificate of Excellence" for 2015 by the TripAdvisor.
11th EUROPEAN NIGHT OF MUSEUMS
THE FIRST MUSEUM OF TURKEY, ISTANBUL ARCHAEOLOGICAL MUSEUMS, WHICH WAS ESTABLISHED IN 1891 AS IMPERIAL MUSEUM AND IS COUNTED AMONG PARAMOUNT ARCHAEOLOGICAL MUSEUMS AROUND THE WORLD, CONTINUES TO HOST VISITORS ON INTERNATIONAL MUSEUMS DAY, MAY 18TH 2016...
11th EUROPEAN NIGHT OF MUSEUMS18 th MAY 2016OPEN TILL 23.00(FREE ENTRY AFTER 19:00)
" LAYER BY LAYER EXCAVATING THE ANATOLIAN SIDE OF ISTANBUL"
"Layer By Layer Excavating The Anatolian Side Of İstanbul " is displayed between July 28,2016 ¢€" December 31, 2016 at İstanbul Archaeological Museums.
" Numerous villages, kiosks, woods and gardens beyond stretch along the Asiatic coast of Marmora, so calm and still and blue, towards Chalcedon and Prinkipo, the largest of the seven Prince's Islands,soft dots on the broad main."Frances Elliot, Diary of an Idle Woman in Constantinople (1893)
The modern city of Istanbul treasures an extraordinary number of historical and archaeological layers, since it is one of the oldest cities in the world with a rich and unique cultural heritage. Traditionally, this heritage has been associated with the historic peninsula, which geographically corresponds to the urban space of two capitals. In Byzantine and Ottoman times the capital city was the physical and symbolic center of their respective empires.
Whereas the historic peninsula conserves monumental traces of its past, both capitals did stretch beyond the city walls with suburbs extending on the European and Asian sides.In Byzantine and early Ottoman times, the Asian suburbs of the city were framed by the sea of Marmara and the archipelago of the Princes' Islands with the mainland defined by a rich pastoral landscape dotted by fertile plains, water springs and defensive strongholds. A network of suburban residences, agricultural estates, monastic complexes, roads, cemeteries and small harbors represented some of the Asian suburbs' distinctive features. These features have now largely vanished with the growth of Istanbul's contemporary metropolis.
This exhibition presents for the first time the outcome of recent and on-going archaeological excavations carried out by the Istanbul Archaeological Museums on the Asian side of the city. Five settlements, ranging from Late Antiquity to Late Byzantine and Early Ottoman times have been selected to represent the richness as well as diversity of life in the city's suburbs.
CHAMBER CONCERTS AT THE ISTANBUL ARCHAEOLOGICAL MUSEUMS
- ABOUT THE MUSEUM
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