The Istanbul Archaeology Museum is located in the Eminonu district in Istanbul, near Gulhane Park and Topkapi Palace. The complex consists of three main buildings. The first building on your left is the Museum of the Ancient Orient. It displays Anatolian pieces from Hittite empires and pre-Islamic items collected from the Ottoman Empire.Main building was built by Osman Hamdi Bey in 1881. The architect was Alexander Vallaury. The facade of the building was inspired by the Alexander Sarcophagus and Sarcophagus of the Mourning Women, both housed inside the Museum. A Roman statue of the god Bes welcomes you. The extremely ornate Alexander Sarcophagus, once believed to be prepared for Alexander the Great, is among the most famous pieces of ancient art in the museum. The Kadesh Peace Treaty (1258 BC), signed between Ramesses II of Egypt and Hattusili III of the Hittite Empire, is another favourite of the visitors. It is the oldest known peace treaty in the world.The museum has a fantastic collection of Greek, Hellenistic and Roman artifacts.The most prominent artifacts exhibited in the museum include:
- Alexander Sarcophagus, found in the necropolis of Sidon.
- Sarcophagus of the Crying Women, also found in Sidon.
- Sarcophagi of Tabnit and the Satrap.
- The Lycian tomb, a monumental tomb.
- Statues from ancient times until the end of the Roman period, from Aphrodisias, Ephesus and Miletus.
- Statue of an Ephebos.
- Parts of statues from the Temple of Zeus found at Bergama.
- Statue of a lion, the only piece saved from the hands of British archaeologists in the Mausoleum of Maussollos.
- Snake’s head from the Serpentine Column erected in the Hippodrome.
- Busts of Alexander the Great and Zeus.
- Fragments from the temple of Athena at Assos.
- The Troy exhibit.
- 800.000 Ottoman coins, seals, decorations and medals.
- One of the three known tablets of the Treaty of Kadesh.
- The obelisk of the Assyrian king Adad-nirari III.
- Tablet archive containing some 75.000 documents with cuneiform inscriptions.
- Artifacts from the early civilizations of Anatolia, Mesopotamia, Arabia and Egypt.
- Siloam inscription.
The last of the complexâs is the Tiled Kiosk of Sultan Mehmet Conqueror. It was built in 1472 as an outer pavilion of Topkapı Palace.