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Samsun Museums and Ruins

Samsun Museums and Ruins


The construction of the Archaeology - Ethnography Museum in the Fair area in Samsun began in 1976 and the museum was opened to the public on May 19th, 1981. The museum consists of a central hall and two other symmetrical halls. The mosaic being exhibited in the central hall was made in times of Alexander Severus (AC 222 - 235), the Roman Emperor and was restored in the Byzantine Times at the end of the 5th century AC. There are various mythological scenes on a mosaic base made symmetrically. There is a scene in the middle related to the Troia war including Akhilleus and Thetis; there are some portraits reflecting the seasons on the panels located on each of the four corners of this scene; and the Nereids and sea creatures are described in the rectangular panels among the seasons. Other than these figured scenes, there is a scene on a rectangular panel describing a sacrifice. The remaining parts of the above mentioned mosaic are ornamented with geometrical and plant motifs.

The Amisos treasury, which was found during diggings carried out by the Museum Directorate in a grave of Amisos City, is also being exhibited in the central hall. The Jewellery (a crown, bracelets, necklaces, earrings, buttons, cloth ornaments, rings, etc.) which belong to a man, a woman and a female child are the most interesting works of the museum. These works that belong to the Hellenistic Period reflect the art and workmanship of those times.

The coins of the Classical, Hellenistic, Roman, Byzantine, Seljuk, Ottoman and Republic periods are also being exhibited in this hall.

The works of the Calcolithic, First Bronze Age, Hittite, Hellenistic and Roman periods found in Samsun and its environs are being exhibited chronologically in the hall located on the right side of the central hall. The bronze, bone, stone and cooked soil works of the Calcolithic, First Bronze and Hittite ages, which are found in the archaeological digs carried out by the İstanbul University in the İkiztepe tumulus of the İkiztepe Village in Bafra, carry a specific importance. Bronze lance tip embossed at both sides is one of the samples that show high levels of the İkiztepe people in metal art. The skulls, which had operations, that belong to the First Bronze Age and found in İkiztepe, constitute an interesting part of the museum. The naked athlete statue (the 1st century AC copy of the original specific to the 5th century BC) being exhibited in this hall is one of the most popular works of the museum.

Among the works being exhibited in the other hall, there are ethnographic works transferred to the museum from Samsun: velvets, napkins, sleeved short jackets, money and clock bags, hand script Korans, ornaments, weapons, kitchen materials, carpets, matting, etc.

The works of the Classical, Rome, Byzantine and Ottoman periods are being exhibited in the garden of the museum. The pithos, the tombs, the stelae, the milestones, various architectural works and embossments are the most popular works, which draw attention of the visitors.

Atatürk Museum

The Atatürk museum, which was constructed as the 19th of May Gallery within the old fair ground, opened to the publicors on 1 July 1968. The museum building which was constructed entirely with stones and coloured marbles, has a monumental and effective appearance. The steps and reliefs representing the War of Independence in front of the building give it a motion. 114 works belonging to Atatürk are exhibited in the museum.

The works in the museum are exhibited in three sections. In the entry and exit section various books about Atatürk, the photographs taken during the arrival of Atatürk to Samsun are displayed in chronological order. A panel, made of locally produced tobacco leaves and presented to Atatürk as a gift by the Samsun people, is also exhibited in the museum. And in the glass showcases situated in the rear large rooms, various belongings of Atatürk that were brought in from the Ankara Anitkabir Museum, some wearing apparel such as hats, suits, gloves, etc. and weapons, canes, cutlery, etc. are displayed.

At the right side of the centre large room's exit, a special section is situated for the rest of the state high officials during their visit and to put down their impressions of the museum in writing.

Gazi Museum

The Gazi museum is located on the Mecidiye Avenue at the Kale district in the centre of Samsun. The walls of this two-storey building were made of bricks. Lathwork was used inside. Atatürk stayed for 6 days in this building during his first arrival to Samsun on 19 May 1919. In that time this building was known as the “Mintika Palace” (hotel). During the second arrival of the Great Leader (20-24 September 1924), the subject building was presented to him as a gift of the Samsun People. The Great Leader also stayed in this building during his third (16-18 September 1928) and his fourth (22-26 November 1930) visits to Samsun. After the transfer of the building to the Ministry of Culture by the Samsun Municipality and than, after its restoration and rearranging for exhibition, it was opened to the publicors on 8 November 1998.

Havza Atatürk House

A three-storey building is situated on the street. Between 25 May 1919 and 12 June 1919 Atatürk stayed and worked in this building which was known as the Mesudiye Hotel. The room that Atatürk stayed in is on the second floor. The building which functions as a museum was transferred to the Ministry of Culture by the directorate of the Private Administration.

The İkiztepe Tumulus

The tumulus, which is located in the İkiztepe Village 7 kilometres north - west of the Bafa District of Samsun, has four hills. It covers nearly 375 x 175 metre area.

The digging activities in this tumulus began in 1974 by Professor Dr. U. Bahadır Alkım, and had been continuing under the control of Professor Dr. Önder Bilgi, one of the lecturers of the İstanbul University, since 1981.

The diggers went down up to the main soil at the Hill I and the Hill II. As a result of the researches, the Bronze Age I and II, and the Transition Age (Before Hittite) cultures were found in the Hill I; in addition the existence of a necropolis dated to the First Bronze Age III was understood. The First Bronze Age I and II and the Calcolithic Age cultural ruins were found in the Hill II. As a result of the diggings carried out in the Hill III and IV, it is understood that the first Bronze Age III culture was dominant in this region. There is a tumulus type, a two-room mausoleum with a dromos at last culture level of İkiztepe, in a Hill I. It is understood from the golden coins found in dromos (corridor) of the stone-built mausoleum and printed on behalf of a Thrace King Lysimakhos in İstanbul that this grave belonged to the Hellenistic Age.

The well-protected ceramic oven found in diggings carried out in 1989 is very interesting. Foundations or walls laid with stone or a sun-dried brick could not be found in these diggings, and thus it is understood that the building is made of wood in İkiztepe. The works found in archaeological diggings in İkiztepe ruins are being exhibited in a Samsun Museum.

Tekkeköy Caves

It is located within the borders of the Tekkeköy District, 14 kilometres to the east of Samsun. There are big and small pits and caves on rocks alongside the valley watered by the Fındıkçay and Çınarlı streams.

During the digging activities and researches carried out in 1941, by a committee under the presidency of Professor Dr. Tahsin Özgüç, one of the lecturers in the Ankara University, the Language, History - Geography Faculty, many prehistoric caves, shelters and settling areas are found and some findings that belong to the Paleolithic Age were obtained.

The people of the Paleolithic Age living in these caves did not know metal, and made all their tools from stone, wood and bone. They earned their lives by means of hunting and collecting, and used various tools such as axes, lance tips, cutters, scrapers which they made by chipping stone.

Vessels, earrings, bracelets, knives, daggers, barbs and pins generally used as the grave gift were found in the digging activities and researches carried out in Tekkeköy. These works have the Central Anatolia characteristics in terms of their shapes and technical properties; and the bone tools have a better workmanship when compared to the ones in Central and Western Anatolia.

The rocky region located at the joint area of the Çınarcık and Fındıcak valleys and seeing each two valleys is known as "Delikli Kaya". The stairs of the rocky region were examined in terms of technique and shape, and it is understood that Delikli Kaya is a Frig Castle. The findings of Tekkeköy are being exhibited in the Samsun Archaeology Museum.

The Bafra Asarkale and The Rock Graves

It is located within the Kızılırmak Valley, 30 kilometres south - west of the Bafra District and close to the Altınkaya Dam. Asarkale belongs to the Hellenistic Age and is built for defence. It is thought that three graves made by chipping the main rock belong to the same period.