Font -  Font +

İçel - Anamur Museum and Historical Ruins


Scientific archaeological excavations which were started in 1960 at the ancient city of Aneurium by American and Canadian scholars also brought forward the idea of establishing a museum in Anamur district to bring together all the cultural relics to be found in the area.

The initial ground breaking for the museum building took place in 1976 on a 2630 m² plot of land allocated for this purpose at the Yalevler district of the town. Half - finished, the structure was abandonded for a long time and construction activities were resumed in 1983 and continued until 1989.Building was completed in 1990 and in 1992 work on the final arrangements and displays were finalized.

As there was no appropriate museum building at the time, the cultural and natural heritage items obtained from Anemurium excavations were sent to the Alanya Museum while other items found around the district were collected at Silifke Museum.

In 1984, staff positions were allocated to the Anamur Museum enabling the hiring of the personnel, and the Museum started to offer its services in a rented shop on Atatürk Boulevard. In the meanwhile, the museum undertook the task of promoting itself, and combining the available resources and support of the Ministry, started the listing of cultural and natural assets at Anamur and its vicinity. During 1985 and 1986, salvation excavations were carried out at the ruins of Bozyazı (Nagidos) Necropolis and the Rig Manoi antique city at the Mamure Castle.

Besides the archaeological excavations at the ancient city of Anemurium, which was at first jointly run by Amerians and Canadians and later continued with Canadians alone, under the leadership of Prof. Dr. James Russel; Aydıncık (Kelenderis) excavations were started in 1986, directed by the Directorate of Anamur Museum under the scientific responsibility of Doç. Dr. Levent Zoroğlu from Seljuk University.

The inventory of the museum has today has reached 7000 items with the Anamur origined pieces brought back from the Alanya and Silifke Museums and those kept at the Erdemli museum whose operation was terminated by the Ministry, and with items submitted to the museum by the people of Anamur who show great sensitivity in this respect.

At the upper floor of the museum building there are administrative offices, library, the photography studio and a conference hall. The lower floor has the cafeteria, ethnographic and archaeological sections, storage area and the laboratory. The conference hall is used for educational activities such as awareness raising lectures on contraband trade and slide shows, while painting, sculpture, photography exhibitions are organized at the
exhibition halls.

Best examples of our traditional arts are displayed at the ethnography section. The collection contains folkloric material from the area which reflects the historical process from nomadism to a settled way of life.

There are examples of flat wear weaving locally known as Bönce, Çiğni Düşük, Ala, Aynalı and Boncuklu, wooden coffee grinders, coffee coolers and coffee boxes decorated with lined engravings, mirror frames, mother of pearl inlaid storage boxes, spoon containers which are carved in spoon form, powder flasks, wooden measure (urup) and mortas, knucklebone game sticks, various metal utensils in engrawed seal and repousse techniques, as well as swords engraved in niello style, shepperd's guns and fligrated silver jewellery in the form of dangling earrings and necklaces, copper urns and plates, woolen socks, saddle bags, tobacco and coin pouches, camel harnesses, wall clocks and the like,


The ruins of Kelenderis, which was one of the best harbours of the Southern Anatolia coastal areas in Antiquity, is at Aydıncık district of the İçel province. Definitive information is lacking about the founders of the city and the date of its original establishment. Apollodoros, who was an antique writer, claims that Kelenderis was first built by Sandon, a Hittite god. Excavations carried out since 1986 have revealed findings which go back to 8th millennium B.C. Towards the end of that century, Ionians arriving from the nearby islands and Western Anatolia built bases (emporium) to manage the trade oriented activities at Kelenderis as well as Nagidos. Antique sources also show that the city was Colonized by people of Samos. Kelenderis enjoyed its first splendour during the 4th and 5th millenniums BC. During this period, Kelenderis was the furthest east located member of the Attik - Delos Marine Union which was established under the leadership of Athenians against the Persians. Rich graves discovered during the excavations show that the city had developed relations with the western world without becoming estranged to the eastern culture. Kelenderis was in a political coalition with the kingdom of Ptolemayos which was established in Egypt during the Hellenistic era, and faced severe difficulties under the pressure from the piracy of the 1st century BC. Kelenderis also took part in the military actions arranged by Romans against the pirates, and enjoyed its second high period when the Romans achieved the security of the Mediterranean marine trade routes. During the Middle Ages, the city was dominated first by Byzantium and then the Seljuks and until the beginning of the 20th century was an important port for marine transportation between Anatolia and Cyprus.

The number of remains reaching us from the Ancient Kelenderis is very few. City walls are from Middle Ages. The Port Bath was most probably built during 4th or 5th centuries. The theatre apparently belongs to the Roman era. In the graveyards of the city, rock graves, vaulted graves and pyramid roofed monumental graves can be seen spanning a period from 6th millennium B.C up to the 4th century. The majority of the items displayed at the museum are from these graves. The floor mosaic discovered in 1992 is an exceptional example in depicting the panaroma of the city as it stood in the 5th century.


The ruins of Nagidos, which, like Kelenderis, is one of the oldest settlements of the region, are situated on a hill close to the shore at the district of Bozyazı. We have very little information about the city, and what has reached us is limited to the visible remains of city walls near the summit of the hill. In addition to these, it is also apparent that the first form of the bridge over Bozyazı river belonged to the Roman period. There are also remains of an aqueduct and the foundations of a bath from the late Roman and Byzantine periods.

Antique sources show that Nagidos, like Kelenderis was colonized by Samos. From the coins of the period, it is seen that Nagidos was under Persian dominance during the 5th and 4th centuries. During the Hellenistic Age it was under the influence of Phtolemayos of Egypt but the following pirate oppression had greatly weakened the city. It is seen that the city in the Middle Ages was rather insignificant and was mainly limited to a concentration on the Bozyaz Island (Nagidussa) which lies very close to the shore. The items at the museum are from graves which were discovered incidentally at the western part of the city. Rather rich offerings for the dead in baked clay sarcophagi belong to 4th and 3rd millenniums B.C were found.