This article has been previously published as a part of book Gallipoli Peninsula and the Troad: TAN Travel Guide by Izabela Miszczak
The Archaeology Museum in Çanakkale collects the exhibits from the area of the ancient Troad, i.e. the Biga Peninsula. However, despite the enormous historical significance of the region and its incredibly rich history, the museum collection is quite disappointing. Nevertheless, a visit to this museum is recommended before going to Troy and Dardanos Tumulus, situated on the way to Troy. The museum was founded in 1936. Initially, it operated in a former church, but in 1984, it was moved to a new building. In the small garden of the museum, there are a lot of stone exhibits, including sarcophagi, columns, and gravestones.
Troy is, without a doubt, the most important archeological site in the region of Troad. The museum boasts numerous finds from this famous ancient city, including its oldest layers, dated to the years 2950-2550 BC. From this period the museum exhibits ceramic dishes such as a fruit platter and a casserole with a lid, as well as marble figurines, which served probably for the purposes of religious worship.
The objects excavated from the layer of Troy II (2550-2350 BC) include the collections of plates, dishes decorated with spatial figures, and many drinking vessels, including the specimens of the so-called depas amphikypellon (a term used by Homer) - i.e. high and narrow vessels with two handles, and the vessels similar in shape to the modern mugs. The museum also has exhibits from later chronological layers of Troy, including Troy V (2200-1700 BC) - dishes and pots and Troy VIIa-VI (1700-1200 BC) - Mycenaean vessels.
The Hellenistic period of Troy is represented by a frieze from an altar, and the Roman times - by a headstone and a statue of Emperor Hadrian (117-138 AD). In addition, the museum has several Trojan collections with no specific period given, including bone tools, jewelry, and bronze objects.
Another finds exhibited in the museum come from two Turkish islands in the Aegean Sea. The biggest attraction of the island of Bozcaada (or Tenedos) are the exhibits found in the local necropolis. These include the vessels from the 9th century BC, local wine and olive oil jars (so-called askoi) made from gray clay, dated to the 7th century BC, Corinthian pottery, also from the 7th century BC, red-figure pottery the 5th and 4th centuries BC, and figurines of the goddess Cybele from the 5th century BC.
The most valuable finds from the second Aegean island - Gökçeada (or Imbros) - have been found in the area of Yenibademli Höyük archeological site. Archeological research has been conducted there since 1996, and so far seven architectural layers have been identified. The oldest of them contains the examples of so-called Cyclopean walls and Mycenaean ceramics. The depth of each cultural layer varies from 3 to 5 meters. In addition, a statue of a seated woman from the 2nd century BC has been brought from Gökçeada to Çanakkale.
Fascinating finds have been collected from Dardanos Tumulus, a few kilometers south of Çanakkale. Visitors to the Archaeology Museum are greatly impressed by golden diadems and wreaths, dated to the 4th and the 3rd centuries BC, and the treasures from the necropolis (dated to the 4th century BC), including gold jewelry, statues, and pottery. In addition, the excavations in the area of the tumulus and its surroundings have resulted in the discovery of Hellenistic terracotta figurines, a collection of statues of Aphrodite and Eros, and ceramics from the period between the 4th and the 2nd century AD.
Tavolia and Thymbria are two other sites represented in the museum. Both of them are situated near Troy, and archeological excavations are still conducted there. The museum displays the vessels found on these sites, from the period from the 6th to the 5th century BC.
One of the most impressive collections in the museum is the one from Assos (Behramkale). Among the finds from the local necropolis, such as vessels and terracotta objects from the 5th and the 4th centuries BC, there are fascinating figurines of musicians. Most likely they were funeral gifts because they have been found in the sarcophagi. Perhaps there is a connection between them and the cult of the god Dionysus. The figurines show the musicians playing various instruments, including the lyre, the cithara, the drum, and the flute, as well as people dancing and singing.
Other exhibits have been brought to the museum from Lapseki (ancient Lampsakos), situated on the shore Asian of the Dardanelles. These finds are represented by a stone table leg, a statue of a young man called (so-called kouros) from the 6th century BC, and the statue of the goddess Aphrodite from the Hellenistic period. Other archaeological sites represented in the museum are: Cyzicus (a tombstone from the 2nd century BC), Biga, i.e. ancient Pega (a marble tombstone from the 2nd century AD), Kumtepe (ceramics from the VI-IV millennium BC), Parion (abronze amphora and the statue of Orpheus from the end of the first century BC), and Apollon Smintheion (ceramics).
Museum in Canakkale also has among its collections the items found on archeological sites located on the Gallipoli Peninsula. The sculpture of a horse from the 4th century AD has come from Lysimacheia (near Bolayır), and the gravestone of an athlete from the 5th century BC has been found in the vicinity of Küçükanafarta (near Eceabat).
Two monumental and richly decorated sarcophagi in the museum's collection are Polyxena sarcophagus (the 6th century BC), from Kızöldün tumulus near the town of Biga, and Altıkulaç sarcophagus in the Greco-Persian style (the 4th century BC) from Çingenetepe tumulus near Çan.
Archaeology Museum in Çanakkale is housed in a building on 100 Yil Caddesi. The distance to the city center is about 2.5 km. The museum is located on a side street, just off the main road from Çanakkale to Troy. It can be reached from the center by a minibus heading to Troy or Güzelyalı.
The admission ticket to the museum costs 5 TL. The museum is open daily except Mondays, from 8:00 am to 7:00 pm (from April to October). From November to March it closes earlier, at 5:00 pm.