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Niğde Museum

The museums are defined as institutions that determine cultural assets, obtain them with scientific methods, examine, evaluate, protect, introduce, temporarily and permanently exhibit such assets, developing the education and preference of the public in relation with the cultural and natural assets and that are effective in developing of the world view of the public.

The Niğde museum is one of the most important museums of Mid Anatolia with its three large exhibition halls, expertise library, modern conference and exhibition halls.

The first museum activities in Niğde have been started in Akmedrese that was used as the museum (was constructed by Karamanoğlu Ali Bey) in 1939. This place has been used as the warehouse of the İstanbul Archaeology Museums because of the 2nd World War between the years 1939 - 1950.

In Akmedrese, which has been used as a warehouse between 1950 - 1957, "The Niğde Museum Directorate" was founded in 1957 and the building was repaired, its arrangement and exhibition were made and opened for visit.

Since the madrasa was not suitable for modern exhibition, the base of the new museum building has been laid by the Ministry of Culture in July 1971. In 1977, Akmedrese has been closed and the museum has been moved to the new, modern museum building.
The exhibition - arrangement and the adjustment of the new museum building has continued until November 1982 and the museum was opened for visit with the ceremony held on November 12th 1982.

Before entrance to The Niğde Museum, the visitors are welcomed by the "The Hittite Storm God", that is "Teshup relief" made of basalt, belonging to the Late Hittite Period. This work is one of the important works belonging to "The Nahita Kingdom" that is one of the Late Hittite States that survived in Mid Anatolia between the 8th - 7th century BC.

In the frame of the visitors' seeing the museum, the information relating to the halls is as follows:

1- Ethnographic Works Hall

The collections compiled from " the ethnographic works" that are defined as movable cultural assets relating to science, religion and arts, including the human structure, tools and instruments and reflecting the social life of the public are exhibited in this hall.
Starting from the entrance of the hall, the carpets and the kilims collected and purchased from the Niğde region are exhibited on the panels on the right side.

In the first of the large showcases located in the middle of the hall, especially the women’s clothes purchased from the villages of Niğde and added to the museum collections. In the second showcase, the samples of men’s clothes are exhibited and information about the traditional ethnography of Niğde is given. In the place between two large showcases, a Turkish house, with its divan, silver thread ornamented divan cover, silver thread ornamented pillows, corner mattresses and middle copper tray are presented.

Furthermore, in the corner showcases between the columns of the ethnography hall, there are jewels, writing sets, bath sets, porcelain sets, medals and tokens, caps are exhibited.

One of the most interesting works of this hall is a mid copper tray. This work must belong to the Kaçar Turks that lived at the end of the 19th century and the beginning of the 20th century AD. The busts of the kings, whose names are mentioned in Şeyhname of the Iranian Poet Firdevsi and the coins they have minted with the carving technique are shown. An ottoman symbol belonging to the time of Abdülhamid the 2nd is located in the Ethnography hall.

2- Hall of Front - Asia Civilizations

Anatolia, which is defined as the Small Asia, has been subject to the settlement of various human communities throughout the history and has been a scene for many coloured civilizations having the regional features.

In this process, the Niğde region has been one of the most important regions, on which various civilizations have lived from the 7th - 6th thousand BC (the Neolithic Age - the Glazed Stone Age) until today. As the result of the archaeological excavations carried out in the region until today, it has been seen that the Niğde province had a rich culture.

While the glacial period was ending in the world with the tendering climatic conditions, the human being has completed its life cycle passing with only hunting and collecting.

One of the most important events of the period defined as the "Neolithic Period" in civilization history, is the success of the human being in changing the relationships of the human being with the nature towards its side and taming some of the plants and animals existing around it and starting the production of them.

As the result of the researches carried out, we have learnt that the human being of this period was productive, carried out farming and stock breeding, lived in buildings having rectangular plans with stone bases and sun - dried brick walls and also had flat roofs that were around an avenue; that it made tools from stone and bone, milling stones, arrow and spear ends from obsidian, that the dead were buried in their houses and pottery was made from clay.
One of the most important centres of the Neolithic Period in Mid Anatolia is the Köşk Tumulus in the Bahçeli Town of the Bor District of our city.
A part of the archaeological works obtained here in the archaeological excavations that had been performed since 1982, are exhibited in the large showcases of this hall, numbered 1 and 2. As bronze is obtained by mixing copper and tin in Anatolia at the end of the 4th thousand BC and the beginning of 3rd thousand BC and as this is used in gun manufacture, the Anatolian population begins to live the "Bronze Age". The human being has succeeded to produce guns, pots and Jewellery from this very important alloy and has produced objects meeting its daily needs or having religious purposes by processing the metals such as copper, gold, silver etc with the hitting technique.

The most important centre of this period in the Niğde province is the Göltepe - Kestel Ruin place that is near the Celaller Village of the Çamardı District of our city.

The Göltepe - Kestel excavations evidencing that tin has been obtained in Anatolia in the 3rd thousand BC, has brought the unknown sides of the Anatolian Archaeology into light.

The archaeological materials obtained from these excavations are exhibited in the 4th large showcase. Furthermore, near the showcase, the enrichment of the metal ore obtained by the heating method from the metal mine and its being poured into pots after being melted is being depicted.

In the large showcase numbered III, the findings belonging to the Old Bronze Age obtained from the Aksaray Province, the Acemhöyük Ruin place, the Darboğaz Town and the Bor Pınarbaşı Tumulus are being exhibited.

In the 5th and 6th showcases of the hall and in the 3 corner showcases, the samples of the findings of the term defined as the "Asyrrian Trade Colonies Period", found in the archaeological excavations carried out in the Aksaray Province, the Acemhöyük Ruin place are exhibited.

In Acemhöyük (Puruşhan), during the excavations carried out by a commission under the chairmanship of Prof. Dr. Nimet Özgüç, it has been understood that this location was one of the important the Karums established by the Asyrrian traders at the beginning of the 2nd thousand BC. A big part of the important archaeological findings obtained from two burnt palaces found in the excavations are in the Niğde Museum.

At the end of the hall, the Abundance god belonging to the "Late Hittite States", established in Anatolia after the destruction of the Hittite Empire and called as city-kingdoms; inscriptions written in the Hittite nail writing (the Hittite hieroglyph), the Göllüdağ lion, the Kanarca tumulus findings, the Phrygian Period ceramics and the grave jar (the pithos) found in the Porsuk excavation are exhibited.In a section of the hall in the form of a room, the coin section is located. In the coin section, the silver treasure found in the Tepebağları excavation belonging to the Cappadocia kingdoms (50 - 60 BC) and the Ottoman golden coins found in the nationalization and the canal opening works near the Merkez Sungurbey Mosque are exhibited in the wall showcases.
Furthermore, in 4 horizontal showcases, coins belonging to all periods from the oldest coins (Part coins) to the Ottoman coins are presented in a chronological order.

3- Classical Works Hall

On the panel at the entrance of the hall, the information relating to the excavation places from where the exhibited findings are obtained, is presented.
Starting from the entrance of the hall, in 3 large showcases on the right side, the important works of the Hellenistic and the Roman periods found in the archaeological excavations at important excavation centres such as Tepebağları, Porsuk, Acemhöyük, etc are displayed; in 3 large showcases on the left side of the hall the selected works of the Hellenistic - Roman Period collected from the public by purchase are exhibited. These are generally grave gifts and the most interesting ones are the tear bottles, the essence pots and the candles. The golden ring having an eagle relief on agate made with a carving technique, found in Kemerhisar is one of the most favorite works.

In the mid platform, the sculptures from Kemerhisar (Archaic Tyana); the inscriptions brought from the churches belonging to the minorities in the Late Ottoman Period; and in the large corner showcases the Byzantine Period (Christianity) works are exhibited. In this hall, the nun mummy, which is one of the most interesting works of the Niğde Museum (the 10th century AD) is exhibited on the other platform.

The nun mummy, found on the Ihlara Valley of the Aksaray Province (probably the Yılanlı Church) and brought to the museum in 1965 is exhibited with the model and introductory photographs of the Ihlara Valley. At the back part of the mummy exhibition, the stone works made with a high relief technique, which were found in archaic Tyana (Kemerhisar) that was the largest and the most important Roman city of Mid Anatolia, are exhibited. One of the most important works of this hall is the grave stone belonging to the 19th century AD, which is known as the "Inscription in Karaman Language" which is a lament inscription written in the aruz metre.