Museum of the Ancient Orient

Eski Şark Eserleri Müzesi

Apart from the magnificent palaces and mosques Istanbul is also the city of an immense number of unique museums. The Museum of the Ancient Orient, which is constitutes a part of the Archaeological Museum of Istanbul, opened in 1935. The majority of its exhibits were discovered during the archaeological excavations from the 19th century till the beginning of the First World War on the territories that were once the Ottoman Empire.

The Museum homes the most ancient piece of love poetry that dates back to the 8th century BC, and a copy of the Code of Hammurabi, one of most ancient law codes ever found (the original is on display in the Louvre, Paris) used in court. It is particularly interesting to see the obelisk of the Assyrian king Adad-nirari III with cuneiform inscriptions, ancient statues of the Babylon king Hammurabi and the Assyrian ruler Shalmaneser III. Take a look at the bas-reliefs of lions, dragons and aurochs that once were decorations of the Procession Way that led to the gates of the inner city of Babylon, the famous Ishtar Gate.

The museum has another indisputably great treasure: the famous clay plate which preserves the most ancient treaty that dates back to the 13th century BC. The peace treaty was concluded between Egyptian pharaoh Ramesses II and Hittite king Hattusili III after the Battle of Kadesh.

Address: Alemdar Cad. Osman Hamdi Bey Yokuşu Sk.
Opening hours: daily 9 am – 5 pm
How to reach: Gülhane (TR1)
Coordinates: 41.011325, 28.980291