History of Hatay Museum
Scientific excavations have been started for the first time in 1932 in Hatay, which has collected various cultural and historical documents of every period from 4th thousand BC until today. Because of the big number of works found in the first years of the studies, establishment of a museum in Hatay has been decided upon the request of M. Prost, Antiquities Inspector, working in Hatay, which was under French domination. The plan prepared in compliance with the modern museum understanding of the day has been applied in 1934. In the museum, whose construction has been completed in 1939, works found in three different scientific excavations are exhibited.
1- Chicago Oriental Institute has worked in Amik Plain, Cüdeyde, Dehep, Çatalhöyük and Tainat between 1933 - 1938.
2- Sir Leonard Wolley has made excavations in the name of British Museum in El - Mina location of Samandağı in 1936 and in Aççana Tumulus between 1937 and 1948 intermittently.
3- Princeton University has also made excavations around Antakya. This is the commission who have found the mosaics, which constitute the real wealth of the museum.
In 1939, when Hatay has been added to the motherland, the museum building was completed and the works obtained in the excavations and in various ways were stored. Since this date, the arrangement of the works has been completed in nine years and the museum has been opened to visit on July 23rd 1948, day of independence of Hatay.
Besides various works it has, it draws interest with the rich mosaic collection. The additional building which was started in 1969, has been completed at the end of 1973 and has entered into service after the exhibition and arrangement remade. By this way, the number of exhibition halls has been increased to eight from five; and the possibility for separately exhibiting Hittite and Asyrrian works has been obtained.
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