The Museum of The Year in Europe in 1997

History of Buildings

Anatolian Civilizations Museum is in two Ottoman buildings located near Ankara Castle, in Atpazarı district of Ankara. One of the buildings is Mahmut Paşa Bedesteni and the other is Kurşunlu Han.

Bedesteni was built by Mahmut Paşa, one of prime ministers (vezir) of Mehmet the Conqueror during 1464-1471. The building does not have inscription. In resources it is written that Ankara pure garments were distributed here. The design of the building is in classical type. There are 10 domes used for covering rectangular designed enclosed location, and there are 102 shops facing each others.

According to history records and registry books, Kurşunlu Han was built as foundation for Mehmet Paşa's(Mehmet the conqueror's vezir) poor catering located in Üsküdar, Istanbul It does not have inscription. During repair of 1946, coins of Murat II period were discovered. The findings indicate that Han existed in 15th century. Han has typical design of Ottoman Period hans. There is courtyard and arcade in the middle and they are surrounded by two storey rooms. There are 28 rooms in the basement floor, 30 rooms in the first floor. The rooms have furnace. There is a barn in "L" type in basement floor on west and south directions of the room. On the north side of han there are 11 shops and 9 shops on east side and 4 shops facing each other within garden. The inn(han) was made by Mehmet Pasha and in 1467 Mehmet Pasha was promoted to Prime Minister(head Vezir) upon discharge of Mahmut Pasha and built vaulted bazaar. He kept his position until 1470. He has his mosque, poor catering and medrese in Üsküdar and his body is buried therein.

This two building constituting the museum today was abandoned after the fire in 1881.

The History of the Museum

The first museum in Ankara was established by Mübarek Galip Bey, Directorate of Culture, in 1921 in the section of castle in Ankara called Akkale. In addition to this museum, artifacts from Augustus Temple and Byzantine Baths were also collected. Upon recommendation of Atatürk and from the view of establishing an "Eti Museum" in the center , the Pittites arts from the region were sent to Ankara and therefore a larger museum was needed. The Director of Culture at that times, Hamiz Zübeyr Koşay recommended Saffet Arıkan, Minister of Education Mahmut Paşa Bazaar and Inn be repaired and converted into museum. This recommendation was accepted and restoration continued from 1938 to 1968. Upon completion of repair works of the bazaar where domed location is, in 1940, a committee chaired by German Archaeologist H. G. Guterbock arranged the museum. In 1943 while the repair works of the building were still under progress, the middle section was opened for visits. Repair projects of this part was carried out by Architect Macit Kural and repair work upon tender was performed by Architect Zühtü Bey. In 1948 museum administration left Akkale as store house, and the museum was in four rooms of Kurşunlu Han of which repair works were completed. Restoration and exhibition projects of part around Domed location were prepared and applied by Architect İhsan Kıygı. Five shops were left in their original form, and the walls between the shops were destroyed and thus a large location was provided for exhibition. Museum structure reached its present structure in 1968. Kurşunlu Han which has been used as administration building has research rooms, library, conference hall, laboratory and workshops, and Mahmut Pasha Vaulted Bazaar has been used as the exhibition hall.

Anatolian Civilization Museum being among rarely found museums with its unique collection has Anatolian archaeological arts, arts from Palaeolithic Age to Present are exhibited.

Anatolian Civilizations Museum

Anatolian Civilizations Museum reaching the present time with its historical buildings, rooted history was elected as the first and "the Museum of the Year" in Switzerland on April 19, 1997.

Palaeolithic Age (....8000):

The Age is represented by the ruins discovered in Antalya Karain Cave. The people of Palaeolithic Age were hunting and collecting communities living in caves. The stone and bone tools of the People of the Age are exhibited.

Neolithic Age (8000-5500) :
During this Age food production and first settlement was made by the communities of this Age, the arts of the Age were discovered in two important centers of the Age, namely Çatalhöyük and Hacılar and are exhibited in the museum. The ruins include mother goddess sculptures, stamps, baked soil containers, bone agricultural tools.

Calcolithic (Copper-Stone) Age (B.C. 5500-3000):
In addition stone tools, the copper was processed and used in daily life during this age, and rich ruins dating from this Age were discovered in Hacılar, Canhasan, Tilkitepe, Alacahöyük and Alişar and are exhibited in the museum.

Old Bronze Age (B.C. 3000-1950):
The people living in Anatolia in the beginning of B.C. 3rd century added bronze to copper and alloy to copper and found bronze. They also processed all mines of the Age with casting and hammering techniques Valuable mine made, magnificent death presents discovered from king tombs of Alacahöyük, ruins from Hasanoğlan, Mahmatlar, Eskiyapar, Horoztepe, Karaoğlan, Merzifon, Etiyokuşu, Ahlatlıbel, Karayavşan, Bolu, Beycesultan Semahöyük, Karaz-Tilki tepe constitute rich Old Bronze Age and are exhibited in the museum.

Hittites (B.C. 1750-1200):
The first political union in Anatolia in BC 2nd century was established by Hittites in Kızılırmak basin. The capital city was Boğazköy (Hattuşaş) and other important centers were İnandık, Eskiyapar, Alacahöyük, Alişar, Ferzant. Embossed, bull figure containers, baked soil arts, tablets of government archive, seals in name of the king are seen.

Phrygian(B.C. 1200-700) :
Phrygians immigrated from Balkans in 1200s had control over Anatolia, center of them was Gordian. The works of art discovered in Gordian and ruins are the best examples of Frygians and are exhibited in the museum.

Urartu (B.C. 1200-600) : Urartu civilisation reached an advanced architecture and mining level in the centers like Altıntepe, Adilcevaz, Kayalıdere, Patnos, Van, Çavuştepe lived in the same times as Frygians.

Late Hittities (B.C. 1200-700) :
Upon end of Hittite Empire, some of Hittite communities established province states in south and south-east Anatolia, and Late Hittites Beys Period was lived. Malatya-Aslantepe, Kargamış, Sakçagözü are some important Late Hittites settlement places.

Our collections including Greek, Hellenistic, Roman and Byzantine Period arts from BC 1st century, made of golden, silver, glass, marble, bronze and coins represent rarely found cultural assets.

Antique Jewellery exhibited in Anatolian Civilizations Museum