Urfa Museum

Archaeological Museum, Urfa

The neighbouring southeastern cities of ‘Glorious’ Urfa and ‘Warrior’ Antep are fearfully competitive, regularly arguing over everything from their respective claims to glory in the Independence War to who grows the most pistachio nuts. No surprise, then, that Antep’s acclaimed Zeugma Museum should have triggered spasms of envy on its opening in 2011 down the road in Urfa. All Urfa was delighted when excavations in the city’s Haleplibahce neighbourhood uncovered some truly magnificent 2nd century mosaics of its own.

 

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The mosaics have been left in situ while a vast new museum – larger than Antep’s, obviously – has been built to house them and other artefacts from the city’s former municipal museum. With those wonderful mosaics – check out the Ethiopian native with the zebra – and what is said to be the world’s oldest statue, this brand new museum is said to be a joy.

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