We had an unintended, but welcome, sleep in until 8.30am….the curtains in our hotel room are so dark we could not see daylight! After breakfast we set off in a taxi for the Anatolian Civilisations Museum…about 15 min ride to the old town and cost us around 20TL. We were unable to use our Museum Passes here….we have discovered they should have offered us all of Turkey for 105TL instead of the Aegean at 75TL….we tried to convince the clerk to exchange it and we would pay the difference….but he wasn’t having that and so we had to part with 210TL for new passes….and 10TL each for audio guides…Bugger! We spend a good 4 hours walking through the museum and it was exceptional….it won awards in 1997 as the European Museum of the Year. The museum is on the south side of Ankara Castle in the Atpazari area. An old Ottoman Bazaar Storage building houses the collection. They start with the Paleolithic era, and continue chronologically through the Neolithic, Early Bronze, Assyrian trading colonies, Hittite, Phrygian, Urartian, Greek, Hellenistic, Roman, Byzantine, Seljuq and Ottoman periods. There is also an extensive collection of artifacts from the excavations at Karain, Catalhoyuk, Hailer, Canhasan, Beyce Sultan, Alacanhoyuk, Kultepe, Acemhoyuk, Boğazköy (Gordion), Pazarli, Altintepe, Adilcevaz and Patnos as well as several other places.
The exhibits of gold, silver, glass, marble and bronze works date back as far as the second half of the first millennium BC. The coin collections, with examples ranging from the first minted money to modern times are truly rare and amazing. We especially enjoyed seeing some of the most rare pieces on display as well as just taking some pictures of things we liked…..and some Vince thought might look good in our living room back home…LOL!
I’ve uploaded some of our favourites including but not limited to: The first homo sapien skull found in Kadipinari Cave, Seated Goddess Figurine flanked by two leapards/lionesses from Caralhoyuk, Stag statuette – symbol of a Hittite male god, Bronze tablet from Çorum-Boğazköy dating from 1235 BC, Kabzali Dagger with Handle (Iron and Gold), Pyrygain Cybele statuette, Hasanoglan Female Statue in Electrum and Gold (3rd Millennium BC), King Anitta Dagger from Kultepe (18th Century BC), Ceremonial Bronze Situla from Gordion 740BC, Hurri and Serri (Bulls of Teshup – Storm God) from Bogazkoy (16th Century BC), King Midas’ Skull, Vase with face from Partinos (9th – 8th Century BC), Marble Statue of Godess Athena (Roman), Bronze Statue of Dionysos (Roman), Marble Boar Hunt Statue (Roman), Marble Statue of an Emperor (Roman), Jewellery from Troy….so much history in Turkey!!!!
We took our life in our hands on the taxi ride back and stopped short of our hotel before walking back to the little tailor shop where thankfully my jacket was complete with new zip! Later that evening we got dropped off at what was supposed to be a Cinema…but “near, next door, down the road etc” ….all have different meanings in Turkey! We walked for a while and did eventually find two cinemas….but neither had anything showing in English….so we stopped in a nearby cafe for dinner (38TL in total) before taking a walk home and absorbing the richness of the hustle and bustle of Turkish life. An interesting observation was walking along the streets littered with the business cards (including photographs) of the variety of “Working Girls” available. They also have these weird little shops where you can sit and watch big screen sport or engage in PlayStation games – Guitar Hero seems to be a favourite….they are everywhere!
With our Iranian Visas in the bag, Vince is now busy working on our Indian Visa paperwork!