Great news, at last! It is so frustrating to know there is a museum full of interesting artefacts but to find it closed when you get there. It happened to me when I was exploring Miletus in 2007 and headed straight to the museum. It was closed “for restoration” they said, and I couldn’t help having my doubts for it is such an easy excuse if the guardian doesn’t feel like opening the doors to the sacred treasures in his care. Yet, there is nothing one can do about it.
After countless years, they finally managed to make their finds accessible to the general public and not just in a “restored” museum but in an entirely new building as it appears. The news has been keep rather quiet for even the Hurriyet Daily News, which is always eager to advertise this kind of information, simply lists it as one item among other museums that have finally reopened after restoration and/or renovation.
I owe the information to the Travel Blog of Peter Sommer Travel where it was published at the end of November 2011. The brand new museum contains items found in the wider Miletus area, spanning a long period of time, from to the Neolithic (about 3500 BC) up to the 16th century.
Today’s visitor to Miletus doesn’t see much beyond the Roman remains of the city, based mainly on the reconstructions after its total annihilation by the Persians in 493 BC. It is very inspiring to discover remains from as early as the Bronze Age when Miletus had close ties with Crete and mainland Greece as well as from the 6th century BC when the city was a leading centre of Greek culture. On display are finds from the nearby site of Priene as well as from the Temple of Apollo in Didyma. Comments inside the museum are graciously provided in English, which is a true bonus for any local exhibition. To give the prospect visitor some idea of what to expect, Peter Sommer's Travel Blog also includes some interesting pictures.
Reason enough for the sun worshipping tourist to move just a little further inland in order to see all these beauties for himself!