Istanbul Archaeological Museums is a museum complex consisting of three main sections: Archeology Museum, Ancient Oriental Artifacts Museum, and Tiled Kiosk Museum. Türkiye's first museum, the Archeology Museum, has more than one million artifacts from various cultures brought from the imperial lands in its collection.
There was a need for a museum building where important artifacts such as the Alexander Sarcophagus and Tabnit Sarcophagus, were brought to Istanbul from the Sidon (Sayda, Lebanon) King Necropolis Excavations, which were considered the most important discovery of the period, could be exhibited between 1887 and 1888. Thereupon, the Archaeological Museum, which was founded under the leadership of archaeologist, painter, and museologist Osman Hamdi Bey and under the name of Müze-i Hümayun (Imperial Museum), was opened to visitors on 13 June 1891. The building, which was built by the famous architect of the period, Alexandre Vallaury, was later added to the left and right wings in 1903 and 1908, and today's Main Museum Building was formed. The works in the exhibition halls in the Main Building are exhibited in chronological order with an emphasis on the ancient center. Among these artifacts are the Crying Women Sarcophagus, Tabnit Sarcophagus, Alexander Sarcophagus from the Sidon King Necropolis Excavations; Brankhit statues of the Sacred Way of Didim-Miletus from the Archaic Age to the end of the Roman Age, the Kore and Kouros (young girl and boy) statues, the Lion Statue of the Halicarnassus Mausoleum; the head of Aphrodite from the famous Pergamon Zeus Altar, portrait of Alexander the Great; There are sculpture works in the three big marble cities of the Roman period, Aphrodisias, Ephesos and Miletos.