Lycian artifacts at new museum draw tourists
ANTALYA – DHAThe Lycian Civilizations Museum, opened last year in the southern province of Antalya’s Demre district, has been displaying artifacts indoors and outside.
A total of 1009 artifacts unearthed during excavations in the Lycian League cities have been drawing local and foreign tourists to the region.
The ancient city of Andriake, which emerged during excavations initiated in 2009 by Mediterranean University’s archaeology department member Professor Nevzat Çevik, has been transformed into an open-air museum.
The Hadrian Granarium, which dates back to 129 A.D. and was unearthed during the same excavation, has been restored and converted to the Lycian Civilizations Museum.
Works initiated in 2013 were finished in 2016, and the museum opened on June 25, 2016 at a ceremony held with the attendance of Culture and Tourism Minister Nabi Avcı.
The Andriake Open-Air Museum displays harbor structures, trade agora, ateliers, churches, a bath, an underground water cistern, a Roman-era boat, loading tools, monuments and a Jewish temple, while the Lycian Civilizations Museum is made up of seven big rooms and a closed area of 2,400 square meters.
A 1,700-square-meter display hall is home to 1009 historical artifacts unearthed at the Lycian cities of Myra, Andriake, Patara, Xanthos, Tlos, Arycanda, Pinara, Antiphellus and Olympos. The artifacts are from the Lycian, Roman and Byzantine periods.
Kitchen tools, jewelries, marble sculptures, containers, tear bottles, earthenware and glass pieces stand out among the artifacts.
The animations in the museum depict life at the Andriake harbor city. The museum welcomes visitors at a fee of 5 Turkish Liras.
First democratic union
The Lycian League was established with 23 cities on the Teke Peninsula along the Mediterranean. The union was the first known democratic federation in history that inspired modern day democratic systems.
The city states were firmly bound to this system, which was assured with the equal representation of the cities in parliament. This federation developed strong ties between citizens in the social life.
In this system, principle cities had three votes, while the others had two votes or one, depending on their size.
Lycian cities were mostly situated along the coast on overlooking hills to have a full view of the sea, representing the solid relationship of these people with the sea.