Journey to the realm of the dead
You know, I’m not a big fan of museums, but once in the Archaeological Museum of Istanbul, lost there for a good five hours. The weather that day was non-flying (in the morning the boring rain — small, but hopeless), and we on the tram went to Gulhane station, where under the side of the brilliant Palace of Topkapi the farmstead of the Museum of archeology was sheltered. In Istanbul, it is a pity to lose Sunny days indoors, but if the weather is not lucky — I strongly advise you to look into the depths of this wonderful Museum in General archeology — the science of the dead: dead civilizations and cultures, the life of people who have long left this mortal world. To some it may seem boring, but after all, we, too, once will not… And after some 500 years, archaeologists will unearth the cultural layer of our era, and our distant descendants, looking at what is left of us, will revive the ghosts of our lives and the memory of ourselves with the help of some shards left from our favorite cups, “skeletons” of our beloved laptops and mobile phones, the remains of our favorite shoes and, of course, our mortal bones, exhausted diets, fitness and around the clock sitting at the computer. I will not describe all the exhibits of the Museum, especially given their number (in the current exhibition — more than a million items from different eras), it is unrealistic. Just talk about what is most “hooked” and surprised. Istanbul archaeological Museum (Istanbul Arkeoloji Mzesi) — a kind of indoor exhibition complex, consisting of three museums: the main building, the Museum of the Ancient East and the Tiled pavilion. The ticket (the one for visiting all museums) is bought at the entrance to the complex and costs about 10 Turkish liras (about 6.5 us dollars). After taking a few steps on the territory of the Museum, you realize that you are literally trampling the remains of ancestors. Opposite the main building is a completely charming tea garden — with openwork white chairs, tables and benches, standing… between ancient tombstones and monuments. Sort of a picnic at the cemetery. The idea in the style of Tim Burton. If we ignore the idea that most of these marble masterpieces crowned someone’s grave, in General, very original. A worthy beginning of the journey to this Istanbul Kingdom of the dead. If you stand on the curb, enclosing the terrace of the cafe-necropolis, below, under the ancient Palace wall, you can see lying directly on the ground fragments of ancient columns and statues. Continuing the “afterlife” journey, you can see standing under the main body of the giant sarcophagi of Byzantine emperors, carved from porphyry. By the way, in translation from ancient Greek “sarkophagos” literally means “devouring flesh”. There are more than enough of such ancient carnivorous stone structures in the Istanbul Archaeological Museum — one of the most unique collections in the world is collected here. The most rare are the sarcophagi belonging to the IV century BC And the most famous among them — the sarcophagus of Alexander, found by archaeologists in 1887. It is covered with amazing carvings depicting battles and scenes of life, allegedly of Alexander the great himself. The fact of the sarcophagus that is the great pretty convincingly challenged, but it did continue to be called Alexander sarcophagus and stubbornly refuse to part with this fairy tale. In the main building, I advise you to immediately turn left from the entrance, so as not to distract from thinking about posthumous honors and continue the journey to the Kingdom of the dead, visiting the exposition of sarcophagi and tombstones. Here the ancient peoples of Egypt, Byzantium, Lycia and other vicinities will appear before your eyes, carved by the cutters of skilled carvers on their tombstones. What were their appearance, family life, position in society, can be understood by considering these tombstones. Incredibly exciting and strange feeling, especially in the halls, where the monuments are scattered over a huge space, like in the necropolis. It seems that people played the game and on the orders of “Freeze!”so forever and fossilized in the accepted poses. In the same building (in the center from the entrance and to the right) there are labyrinths and catacombs strewn with various archaeological treasures. It houses a chronological collection of remains of material culture of ancient man found in the area. It sheds light on the origins and history of Istanbul. There is also a real maze, built of exhibition racks and showcases, which houses the findings found in the city during the construction of various modern facilities. At the entrance to the Museum to the left of the gate you will see the pavilion of the Museum of the Ancient East. It contains a rich collection of artifacts belonging to earlier civilizations: Anatolia, Mesopotamia, Egypt and the Arab East. Passing through the halls of this pavilion, you immediately notice that the aesthetics of artistic images here is completely different than in the ancient Hellenic culture. Unusual to our eyes forms, proportions, a different view of the world… The gem of the collection are, undoubtedly, fragments of bas-reliefs from the famous gate of Ishtar, built with [navukhodonosore], the king of Babylon in 575 BC, the Huge mosaic animals — lions, bulls and cirrosi (dragons with serpent heads). Archaeologist R. Koldewey, who found the Ishtar gate, was sure that Sirrus really existed. The size and beauty of these animals is striking, and their poses, fixed at the moment of movement, surprise with their realism. Fragments of the gate of Ishtar are scattered around the world, but in the Istanbul Museum is a significant part of their bas-reliefs. If you have enough strength for a snack, you can see the Tiled pavilion and the exposition of ceramics exhibited in it. The pavilion itself is worthy of special attention: erected in 1472, by order of Sultan Mehmed II the Conqueror, it is one of the oldest monuments of Ottoman architecture, preserved in Istanbul. In the room there is a small collection of ancient tiles, as well as samples of pottery, porcelain and ceramics belonging to the Ottoman period. After visiting the Museum, I want to say a special thank you to the famous Turkish painter, archaeologist Osman Hamdi-Bey, who founded it (in 1981), a wise and selfless man. If it were not for the struggle of his and his associates for the preservation of artifacts found in Turkey and the prohibition of their export abroad, to this day in the country there would be nothing left that we can see now in this interesting Museum. They would have taken everything to the world, as it happened with the treasures of Ancient Egypt. Therefore, at the exit, exhausted by the abundance of impressions and information received, we remembered this worthy person with a kind word and… ran in the direction of the nearest seller of dener, because, unfortunately, you will not be fed with one information, and in this flavored street dishes the capital of gluttony — and even more so.