Sivas Archaeology Museum home to treasures of Hittite settlements
SİVAS - Doğan News Agency
The most striking works in the museum are a bust of the Ottoman Osman Gazi, a golden seal ring and a sculpture of the holy twin bulls of the Hittites’ gods of sky and storms, Teshub. DHA photoOne of the largest museums in the Central Anatolian region and the only remaining museum in the Sivas city center after the Atatürk Congress and Ethnography Museum was emptied for restoration work, the Sivas Archaeology Museum is home to 12,500 works. The museum, which opened in 2009, displays works unearthed from the Sarissa and Kayalıpınar excavation areas, which were Hittite settlements, and is visited by 30,000 people each year.
Among the most striking works in the museum is a sculpture of the Hittites’ gods of sky and storm, Teshub’s holy twin bulls. The holy bulls are thought to carry the carriage of Teshub.
“It is a work from the Hittite period that was uncovered during excavations between 1992 and 2004 in Sivas’ Altınyayla district’s Başören village. It is very important because it is one of the unique works unearthed in Anatolian excavations. One of these bulls represents goodness and the other represents evil. The whole work could not be found during excavations, that is why its head, neck and some part of the feet have been completed with restoration,” the museum’s archaeologist Adem Bedir said.
Another popular work in the museum is a golden seal ring from the Hittite era. The ring, which is thought to be the first and only in the world and used as a seal, has received great interest from visitors. The 16-gram ring has hieroglyph on it. “The ring was found in someone’s field in Kangal district’s Yarhisar village. It was purchased by our museum. Since it was not unearthed with scientific methods, we do not have enough information about it, but research showed that it is from the Hittite period. The hieroglyph on the ring depicts a bull figure and a twin eagle next to it,” the archaeologist said.
The bust sculpture of the founder of the Ottoman Empire, Osman Gazi, displayed at the museum is also very important because it is the only sculpture made in the Ottoman era.
Speaking about the bust, which was ruined by Sivas Gov. Nazmi Toker in 1939, Bedir said, “It is the only example of sculpture from this period. It was ordered in 1916 by the governor at the time, Muammer Bey and later on it was ruined by Toker. It was transferred to the Museum Directorate in 1943. But because Sivas did not have an archaeology museum, it was kept in the depot of the Atatürk Congress and Ethnography Museum until 2009. When the archaeology museum opened, it was moved here.”
The bust was Turkey’s only monumental sculpture until 1936, he added.