24 June 2012

Istanbul Archeological Museums

Our flight out of Istanbul was in the afternoon, so in the morning (while Sue was packing!), I slipped in a quick visit to the Archeological Museums complex.    I was very impressed, including with the buildings themselves in which the collections are housed.     It's a large museum, but most exhibits are clearly and logically displayed.  The wealth of material means that displays of various eras are comprehensive (at least, to the untrained eye).   Amongst other things, there's a large collection of sarcophagi, lots of material from the Anatolia region, a whole building called the Museum of the Ancient Orient (lots of Egyptian material), and detailed sections on Troy and Byzantium/Constantinople/Istanbul over the ages (spanning pre-historic times, as well as both the Greco-Roman and Byzantine eras, plus of course the Ottoman era).
In Museum of Ancient Orient

Having done my preliminary reading of Lord Norwich, a lot of this section fell into place.    Just occasionally, I could detect subtle differences in approach from Lord Norwich, but nothing really major!
Part of the chain used to block the Golden Horn (but possibly Ottoman?)
If you were so inclined,    you could spend days in this museum.   The only minor catch is that it's tucked away, on the side roadway leading up to the Topkapi Palace from near where we were staying (it took us a couple of attempts to find this roadway on the day we visited the Palace).    Perhaps this wasn't the only reason that attendance was very sparse when I visited, but it is a pity that more visitors don't come because even a quick visit was very informative.

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