The Tekirdağ Museum started to function in 1967 in the building which to day is occupied by the Sports Directorate. It offered its collection for display in a small exhibition hall untill 1977. The present museum building, which was used as the Governor's residence until 1976, was allocated to the Ministry of Culture by the Office of the Governor to be used for this particular purpose. It was opened to public on December 28, 1992. The different sections of the museum are arranged as follows.
The Hall of Stone Works
The Stone works which consist of stelae, altar stelae, statues, statuettes found at the ruins within the boundaries of Perinthos (now Marmara Ereğilisi), Heraion (now Karaevlialtı), Byzante (Barbaros), Apri (Kermeyan) and Tekirdağ as well as the room in the Regent tumulus are displayed. The later is in a glass enclosure of original dimensions and contains all the findings.
The Hall of the Archaeological Small Items
From the products of archaic times up to the Byzantine period, baked earth Mother Goddess Cup, utensils of everyday use, craters and amphorae, metal statuettes, containers, spear heads, arrow heads, fibulas, glass and stone jewellery, parfume flasks, ornaments and metal coins are on display.
The Ethnography Hall
Baked earth and glazed, utencils, fire arms and cutting weapons, silver jewellery, male and female costumes from the Tekirdağ region, bath sets and embroideries, from the Ottoman and the nearer periods are displayed. Karaacakılavuz weaves and the display of an old Tekirdağ bed room are also in this section
The Tekirdağ Room
The room represents the 19th and the early 20th century and is modeled with all its interior functions.
The Open Exhibition
In the five terraced large gardens of the museum, the architectural elements from the Hellenistic, Roman, Byzantian and Ottoman periods found in and around Tekirdağ as well as sarcophagi, tomb stones, inscriptions, millingstones, columns, and reliefs are exhibited. Furthermore a Tekirdağ town square fountain from the Ottoman period and a public fountain are displayed at summer recreational places. A cafe is arranged in the museum garden where the visitors and the public can rest.
The Tekirdağ History
The Marmara Region has been an area suitable for human settlement in all ages with its strategic location on the sea and land transportation routes, climate, lands suitable for agriculture, and richness of game animals.
Even though a full chronology cannot be obtained about the pre - historical and historical settlements within the provincial boundaries of Tekirdağ, they are all listed. There are no settlements from the Paleolothic (the Old Stone Age) and the Neolothic (the First Settlements) periods but findings from the Chalcolithic Age (5000 - 3000) were discovered at the the Güngörmez and the Güneşkaya caves at the Saray district, and the Toptepe tumulus which is at a distance of 4-5 km from Marmara Ereğlisi. Excavations at the caves would most probaly reveal remains from the Paleothic Age.
According to the surface investigations at the shores, Tekirdağ was densely settled during the Early Bronze (3000 - 2000 B.C) Age. There was a big wave of migration in Thrace during the Late Bronze and the Early Iron Ages. Following this wave whose indications can be found in the Ergene and the Meriç basins, a dark period started to settle in.
During this period, despite the presence of the institutionalized states (Hittite) in Anatolia, tribes defined as Proto - Trak, which were more backward in terms of social organization lived in Thrace, displaying the most signficant disparity between Anatolia and Thrace.
Information on the Traks, the natives of Trakya who lived within the boundaries of Tekirdağ, is extremely limited. Homer (the 9thmillennium B.C.) in his epic the Illiad mentions the horse raising Traks, their king Rhesos, the heroes of Thrace and their warrior characteristics.
The historian Heredo (490 – 435BC) claims that the Traks were the most crowded tribe on the earth after the Indians but one which could never establish unity. It is true that the Traks were far from establishing a unified society and were divided into numerous mutually hostile clans.
In the second half of the 5thmillennium B.C., after Thrace was free from the Persian invasion, they managed to establish a Kingdom of Thrace under the Odrys dynasty, which was the most powerful of the clans.
Thrace opened up to trade after the establishment of the Greek colonies in the 7th millennium B.C. During that period, the cities were built by the colonists from Megara and Samas along the Marmara coast of Thrace (Selymbria, Bisanthes, Perinthos). However, according to the antique sources (Homer, Herodotus, Ksenophanes), and archaeological findings, there were cities inhabited by the native population before the colony cities were built and the native population was in perpetual conflict both among themselves and with the newcomers. During the years 514 - 513 B.C., following the İskit campaign of the Persian King Dareus, Thrace came under the Persian dominance. This dominance continued until the Athica - Delos Marine Unity, which the Athenias established in 478 - 477 B.C against the Persian threat, and managed to drive the Persians out of Thrace. In 342 B.C the Macedonian King Philip II annexed the Thracian lands to his own, and took the Odrys kingdom under his control. After the death of Alexander, Thrace went under the dominance of Lysimachos. Developments starting with the appointment of a governor of Thrace by the Roman Emperor Tiberius in the year 19 terminated in establishment of a Roman province in 46 by the Emperor Cladius and Thrace remained under the Roman rule for many years. When the empire was divided into two in the year 395, Thrace was within the boundaries of the Eastern Roman Empire (Byzantine), and it came under the Ottoman dominance after the conquest of İstanbul in in 1453.
The oldest known name of Tekirdağ is Rodos. It later took the name Tefudağ, which changed into Tekirdağ during the Republican period.