Andriaca, the port of Myra, was the largest in the ancient Mediterranean, providing a sheltered port for trade vessels navigating the east-west route, as well as an essential stopping point for shipbuilders, with its logistical support facilities. The port, which has been used extensively since the Classical Period, continued to be a central port in the region until the 8th century AD. During Hadrian’s reign (129-130 AD), the Granary (Horrea Hadriani / Imperial Silos) and the immediate east end of the Commercial Agora / Plaka construction were built. Following the excavation, restoration and environmental works at the 2,300-square-metre Andriaca Granarium (granary), which still stands today, the Ministry of Culture and Tourism designated the site as the Museum of Lycian Civilizations. All the buildings in the ancient settlement that are excavated and repaired have been organised as an open-air museum, with the Granarium crowning the structure as the exhibitionbuilding that became Turkey’s first museum of civilization. Today, the local traditions of the Lycian region, located on today’s Teke Peninsula, and archaeological artefacts of the Lycian Civilization are displayed and supported by interactive applications. Complying with the requirements of modern museum studies and utilizing all available museology instruments, a contemporary museum was created to serve the public and attract tourists. The Andriaca Museum of Lycian Civilizations is on its way to becoming a wholly unique museum due to its location, content and exhibitions.
The Imperial Silos of the past and today’s Lycian Civilization Museum consist of eight halls. The Arykanda and Antiphellos halls are named due to their closeness to the Museum, together with the six largest cities with voting rights in the Lycian Union. The History and Geography of Lycia, Epigraphy, Coins, Economy and Social Life and Religious Culture are introduced in the Museum’s halls within their historical development. The middle region of Lycia, which included the city of Myra, and the region of Western Lycia up to the city of Xanthos and the Eşen river, remain in the purview of the Lycian Civilizations Museum. The majority of the Museum’s collection composed from items excavated in the Lycian region, and the collection gains importance with every excavation season.
In Myra Hall, the visitor will see an interactive map of Lycia, as well as an introduction to the region featuring information boards with the history and geography from prehistoric times to the present. Also exhibited in the Hall are a 12 Gods votive stele crafted in the Lycian region; a Menorah Plate excavated in Andriaca; and a 19th-century icon related to Saint Nicholas, for whom a church was dedicated in the city of Myra.
Patara Hall showcases the Epigraphy and Numismatics of the Lycian region. In addition to the renowned multi-lingual inscriptions (Letoon trilingual and Xanthos stele bilingual), the Lycian language and its writings are portrayed through the most famous monolingual inscriptions. Lycian inscriptions, and original examples or replicas of Ottomanera inscriptions, are exhibited in this section. Among the most significant pieces is a customs inscription dated from the reign of Nero. The centre of the Hall features a reconstruction of the Lycian, Greek and Aramaic trilingual inscriptions discovered in the Letoon excavations. The Lycian Union Assembly Building and a presentation of the Lycian Union is also on this board. The rich collection of numismatic works exhibited in the Hall include precious coins from each period, including the Classical (Dynastic) and Byzantine periods, and examples of European coins.
Dedicated to shipping and ships, this Hall features a film introducing various ship models, starting from the Bronze Age, as well as a collection of mainly Roman-era amphoras, plates, pitchers and anchors discovered on the Lycian shores.
Introducing the socio-economic life of Lycia, this Hall features, among other items, metal artefacts – most of which were found in excavations at the ancient city of Arykanda, where mining operations took place. Painted and unpainted terracotta pots and grinding stones, which hold an important place in the Museum’s Ceramics Collection, are also exhibited in this Hall. Most of the ceramics on display date from the 4th century BC to the 12th century AD, focused particularly on the Roman period.
Continuing the theme of daily life, this Hall features blownglass and die-cast vessels, terracotta weights and spindles, terracotta and bronze lamps, and gold jewellery. The limestone mask from the ancient Myra Theatre is one of the most impressive works in the Hall. As well as exhibits of fabrics and jewellery, panels displaying the art of the Andriaca murex paint industry, which marked the Ancient Transfiguration in Lycia, are featured.
Ksanthos Hall features exhibits of religious traditions throughout the Lycian territories. The exhibits include pieces from a Roman relief and columnar sarcophagus, a 12 Gods votive stele, Kakaspos reliefs, house altars, terracotta figurines, marble figurines and a garlanded altar, as well as lateperiod icons, and a 13th-century fresco unearthed in the Saint Nicholas Church excavations. In addition, outstanding monuments of the Lycian region are introduced: these include the unique tomb types of the Lycian region, the Nereids Monument of Classical Turmoil and the St. Nikolaos Monumental Church.
Last multi-purpose hall offers an extraordinary atmosphere for Museum events. In addition to its use as a temporary exhibition space, it also serves as a conference hall, with a capacity of 150 people. At the exit, the visitor can view a film about the region and its history.