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    Archaeological Museum of IzmirArchaeological Museum of Izmir, Turkey
    This outstanding museum showcases the magnificent collection of ancient and Roman relics that have been recovered from area excavations that include; Agora, Bergama, Lasos and Bayraki which was the original name of this city long ago. There is a service path that leads visitors to the gate of the museum grounds where large amphoras that date to the Hellenistic period and other big columns and capitals being arrayed around the gardens as impromptu seating. The lobby that is simple and open contains no relics at all, but just a map of the nation that shows which areas were part of what kingdoms, so that visitors will gain a better understanding of the historical evolution of the country and to be able to better appreciate the relics shown here. The upper floors house a chronological display of ceramics, glass and pottery, along with funerary pieces and the reconstruction of a 3rd millennium BC tomb. The lower floor is occupied with big stone and marble statues that include those of Demeter, Artemis and Poseidon that were taken from the altar of Zeus in the Agora and a river god that adorned a fountain in Ephesus. The first archaeology museum opened in 1927 at Gozlu in Tepecik after three years of collecting, with the second opening in the Culture Park in 1951. They had to construct a new museum to house all the works that were brought here from other ancient cities, that opened in 1984. Marble works are showcased on the middle floor, where the entrance is located, with large statues, portraits, masks and busts of the period between archaic times and the Roman times. The upper floor hall houses the archaeological works of ancient cities like Iasos, Bergama, Candarli, Bayraki; with ceramic pieces made from cooked soil discovered in Iasos from the 3rd millennium BC of prehistoric period, Myrina Eros statues, Western Anatolia vases with red and black figures that belong to the Archaic period, glass vases, bottles, hydrias of Hellenistic period; various vessels, masks, statues, gold, silver and precious stone ornaments, and much more to excite and interest you upon your visit.

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    The AgoraThe Agora Izmir, Turkey
    This site is where the remains of the agora of Smyrna existed and where the Izmir Agora Museum is located, and often referred to as the Agora by locals, and situated on the northern slopes of the Pagos Hills and was the commercial, political and judicial center of the ancient city, as well as being its center for artistic and teaching purposes. It is an open-air museum that is divided into five parts that include the agora area, the ancient shopping market, the base of the northern basilica gate and the stoa. It was constructed during Hellenistic times, and after a devastating earthquake in 178 AD would be rebuilt in the Roman period (2nd century AD) under emperor Marcus Aurelius. It would be used until Byzantine times and is the location of where many relics and artifacts would be discovered. Although the city was explored by Charles Texier in the 19th century and the German consul in Izmir had bought the land surrounding the ancient theater in 1917 to begin their excavations, it wouldn't be until 1927 with the majority of the discoveries made by the archaeologist Rudolf Naumann and Selahattin Kantar, the director of the Izmir and Ephesus museums. They would uncover a three storied rectangular compound with stairs in the front, constructed on columns and arches around a big courtyard that sat in the midst of the structure. New excavations started in 1996 and have been continuously committed since 2002. The most significant results from the new digs was the uncovering of the north gate that had embossed figures of the goddess Hestia that were a continuation of the Zeus altar that had been discovered in the first excavations. Statues of gods like Eros, Heracles, Hermes and Dionysos have been found as well, with many embossments, figurines, heads, statues and monuments of people and animals made of terracotta, glass, stone, marble, bone and metal have been found.

January 14, 2014