Anatolian Civilizations Museum: Where History Comes to Life

Discover the Treasures of Ancient Anatolia and Their Stories

The Museum of Anatolian CivilizaitonsThe Directorate General of Cultural Assets and Museums of Türkiye

The Anatolian Civilizations Museum, founded during the Turkish War of Independence, is one of the cultural symbols of the Republic of Türkiye due to its unique collection.

It also represents the Republic of Türkiye that Mustafa Kemal Atatürk envisioned.

The Museum of Antolian CivilizationsThe Directorate General of Cultural Assets and Museums of Türkiye

The Unique Objects of the Museum

The museum displays Anatolian archaeological artifacts in chronological order, from the Paleolithic Age to the present.

Mother Goddess Figurine (5750 BCE)The Directorate General of Cultural Assets and Museums of Türkiye

Mother Goddess Figurine

The large breasts and wide hips of this female figurine, which has traditionally been associated with agriculture and fertility, suggest that she is a powerful figure.

The fact that she is depicted sitting between two leopards further reinforces this idea, as leopards are often seen as symbols of strength and authority.

The round shape between its legs is most likely either the head of a newborn child or the skull of a revered ancestor.

Fresco Depicting a Plan of the City (6th millennium BCE)The Directorate General of Cultural Assets and Museums of Türkiye

Fresco Depicting a Plan of the City

Although this wall painting may depict the volcanic Mount Hasan rising behind the town of Çatalhöyük, scholars also discuss the possibility that it is a stylized leopard skin with geometric shapes.

Çatalhöyük was a large Neolithic settlement located in central Anatolia, Türkiye. It was inhabited from around 7500 to 5700 BC, and is one of the most important archaeological sites in the world.

Fresco Depicting a Plan of the City (6th millennium BCE)The Directorate General of Cultural Assets and Museums of Türkiye

If the first possibility is correct, then this Çatalhöyük mural is the first known city plan in history. It is thought to depict a village of rectangular structures next to each other, with the volcanic Mount Hasan rising behind it.

Painted Vessel (Second half of the 6th millennium BCE)The Directorate General of Cultural Assets and Museums of Türkiye

Painted Vase

The ceramic samples from the Hacılar and Canhasan settlements are crucial evidence of the transition from the monochrome ceramic tradition of the Neolithic Age.

The double-handled pottery of Hacılar is well-fired, burnished, red-slipped, and richly painted. It reached its peak with its unique style, featuring bull head motifs on the body. These motifs are the earliest known examples of current rug patterns.

Hacılar and Canhasan are two Neolithic settlements located in central Anatolia, Turkey. They were both inhabited around 7000 BC, and are among the earliest known agricultural settlements in the history.

Ceremonial Standard (Sun Disc) (Second half of the 3rd millennium BCE)The Directorate General of Cultural Assets and Museums of Türkiye

Sun Disc (Ceremonial Symbol)

Bronze sun discs were found as burial gifts in the Alacahöyük King Graves, which date to the second half of the 3rd millennium BCE. These discs were used by priests in religious ceremonies.

Sun disks are an important group of works in Hatti art, representing the sun and the universe. The animal figurines on some of them are thought to depict gods. Thus, sun disks provide valuable insights into the development of Hatti art.

Alacahöyük King Graves are a group of 13 royal tombs that were discovered in the 1930s at the Alacahöyük archaeological site in central Anatolia, Türkiye. The tombs date back to the Early Bronze Age (c. 2500-2000 BC) and are believed to have belonged to the kings and queens of the Hatti civilization.

Stag Statuette (Second half of the 3rd millennium BCE)The Directorate General of Cultural Assets and Museums of Türkiye

Stag Statuette

The silver-inlaid bronze deer statue, found as a burial gift in the Alacahöyük King Tombs, is one of the most outstanding examples of Hatti art. It was likely used in religious ceremonies.

Dagger with Scabbard (Second half of the 3rd millennium BCE)The Directorate General of Cultural Assets and Museums of Türkiye

Dagger with Scabbard

The iron used in the dagger dated to the second half of the 3rd millennium BCE is the first known example of iron in Anatolia.

Sistrum. Bronze (End of the 3rd millennium BCE)The Directorate General of Cultural Assets and Museums of Türkiye

Sistrum

The sistrum, a bell-like instrument found as a burial object in Horoztepe (Tokat) and dated to the Old Bronze Age, is one of the earliest bells discovered in Anatolia. It consists of a frame, a handle, and metal rods that jingle when shaken.

The sistrum's frame has two or three parallel bars with bells attached. When the frame is shaken, the bells jingle. This unique Anatolian artifact is decorated with depictions of deer and gazelles.

Horoztepe is a Chalcolithic archaeological site located in central Anatolia, Türkiye. It was inhabited from around 5700 to 5000 BC, and is one of the most important archaeological sites from this period.

Clay Tablet and Envelope (19th century BCE)The Directorate General of Cultural Assets and Museums of Türkiye

Clay Tablet and Envelope

"The house in Assyria belongs to my wife, my wife will share the silver with my sons." 

Assyrian merchants valued women and family, as evidenced by the fact that they gave their wives the first right to their property after their death.

Clay Tablet and Envelope (19th century BCE)The Directorate General of Cultural Assets and Museums of Türkiye

Assyrian merchants valued women and family, as evidenced by the fact that they gave their wives the first right to their property after their death.

They also legalized inheritance by leaving a will.

Assyria was a major ancient Mesopotamian civilization that existed from around 2600 BC to 609 BC. It was located in what is now northern Iraq and southeastern Türkiye.

Dagger Belonging to King Anitta ( 18th century BCE)The Directorate General of Cultural Assets and Museums of Türkiye

Dagger Belonging to King Anitta

The historical document known as "King Anitta's Palace" (E.GAL A-ni-ta ru-ba-im) is significant because it was found in Neşa (Kültepe), which King Anitta conquered and made the capital of his kingdom.

Anitta was the king of Kussara, an ancient city in Anatolia, Türkiye, during the Old Hittite period (c. 1740-1725 BC). He is the earliest ruler that is known to compose a text in the Hittite language.

Ivory Box (18th century BCE)The Directorate General of Cultural Assets and Museums of Türkiye

Ivory Box

The one-piece ivory box is decorated with bronze, iron nails, and lapis lazuli, and features various figures.

The Anatolian and Syrian influences seen in the reliefs are significant because they show how the two cultures influenced each other.

Bronze Tablet (13th century BCE)The Directorate General of Cultural Assets and Museums of Türkiye

Bronze Tablet

The treaty between King Tuthaliya IV of the Hittite Empire and King Kurunta of the Tarhuntaşşa kingdom is an important document that provides insights into the historical geography of Anatolia in the 2nd millennium BCE.

The bronze tablet is the only one of its kind found among the tablets unearthed so far, making it a very important discovery.

Relief Vase (İnandık Vase) (Mid-17 th century BCE)The Directorate General of Cultural Assets and Museums of Türkiye

Relief Vase (İnandık Vase)

The cultic vase features four friezes, one on top of the other, depicting different scenes of a Hittite marriage ceremony. This vase is extremely important for our understanding of Hittite religious rituals.

The most famous of the embossed vases that appeared only in the Old Hittite Period, provides valuable insights into Hittite social life through its depictions.

Lion Headed Bucket (Situla) (End of the 8 th century BCE)The Directorate General of Cultural Assets and Museums of Türkiye

Lion Headed Bucket (Situla)

A situla in the shape of a lion's head, found as a tomb find in Gordion, the capital of the Phrygians, is made of bronze and has a handle. This work, which is used as a ceremonial blessing vessel, is shown as an example of the high level reached by Phrygian art.

Gordion was an ancient Phrygian city located in central Anatolia, Türkiye. It was inhabited from around 1100 to 600 BC, and was the capital of the Phrygian kingdom.

Paint Ornamented Vessel (End of the 8 th-beginning of the 7 th century BCE)The Directorate General of Cultural Assets and Museums of Türkiye

Paint Ornamented Vessel

A pitcher-shaped vessel with a round rim and a single handle was found at Tumulus P in Gordion. The bowl is decorated with dark brown ornaments on a cream-colored background.

Statue of Cybele. (Mid-6 th century BCE)The Directorate General of Cultural Assets and Museums of Türkiye

Statue of Cybele

The Cybele Statue, unearthed at Boğazköy, depicts the Phrygian goddess Cybele standing on a pedestal, flanked by figures playing musical instruments. It is considered the most beautiful example of Phrygian sculpture.

Eagle Headed Gryphon (Second half of the 8th century BCE)The Directorate General of Cultural Assets and Museums of Türkiye

Eagle Headed Gryphon

The ivory figurine found in the Erzincan-Altıntepe excavations is one of the most important works of Urartian ivory art.

It is believed to have been used as a piece of furniture, and exhibits stylistic characteristics of Northern Syria. 

Seated Lion Statuette (Second half of the 8th century BCE)The Directorate General of Cultural Assets and Museums of Türkiye

Seated Lion Statuette

The ivory lion statuette unearthed at Erzincan-Altıntepe is one of the most important works of Urartian ivory art. It is believed to have been used as a piece of furniture.

Statue of King Mutallu (8 th century BCE)The Directorate General of Cultural Assets and Museums of Türkiye

Statue of King Mutallu

The limestone statue of a king, found in the inner courtyard of the Lion Gate during the Late Hittite excavations at Malatya-Aslantepe, depicts the king wearing a mantle or shawl over a long robe and holding a glass in one hand.

Gate Lion (10th-9th century BCE)The Directorate General of Cultural Assets and Museums of Türkiye

Lion Gate

The Late Hittite-style lion relief at the Malatya-Aslantepe City Gate provides important insights into Late Hittite art and stonecraft.

Relief Fragment with Bust of the Goddess Kubaba (9th century BCE)The Directorate General of Cultural Assets and Museums of Türkiye

Relief Fragment with Bust of the Goddess Kubaba

The Kubaba Relief, a Late Hittite work in the traditional style, is located in Gaziantep-Karkamış. 

In the relief, Kubaba holds a poppy or pomegranate in her hand and wears a horned headpiece with a rosette motif.

Dancing GodThe Directorate General of Cultural Assets and Museums of Türkiye


The Museum of Anatolian Civilizations won the European Museum of the Year Award in 1997, given by the European Museum Forum in Lausanne, Switzerland.

Visit the Antalya Museum to explore the fascinating artifacts of ancient civilizations.

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