The province of Antalya is endowed with the richest natural and historic treasures of Turkey. This large province includes a long coastal strip on the Mediterranean and fertile lands inland. It also includes the ancient regions of Lycia, Pamphylia, Cilicia and Psidia which from the most interesting archeological sites where uninterrupted history from the traces of tlıe earliest man to the present can be found. The invaluable concrete evidence attesting to the regions' history is displayed at the Antalya Museum which ranks third among Turkey's historical and archaeologic museum after the İstanbul and Ankara Museums.
Antalya Museum was established in I922 by a teacher Süleyman Fikri ERTEN. After the Alaaddin Mosque, the Yivli Minare (the Fluted Minared) in old town was used as the Museum and the museum building was carried to its present location in 1972. Today covers area of 30.000 square meters with 13 exhibition galleries: The Children Section, Galleries of the Prehistory, Potteries, finds from tbe region excavations done by the museum and universities, Gods statues, mosaics, icons, statues of Perge Theatre, Sarcophagi, coins and jewellery , ethnographical collections. The museum has also a garden and open-air galleries. On exhibited, thousands years of continious chronological and sometimes didactic finds of Antalya from be first man to the present day, can be seen. Most of the finds in the collection have been obtained from the excavation in the region and the ethnographical objects have been collected from the region by the experts of the museum. One of the latest additions of the museum is Hall Number four which was opened in 2004. Also known as the "Excavations Hall" where the sensational Phrygian (7' cent .B.G.) finds are displayed. These artifacts on central display come from the tumuli of the Elmalı-Bayındır villages excavated by the aeologist of the Antalya Museum between the years 1986-88.
Approximately twelve thousand archaeological pieces, all beloging to the region, are displayed mostly chronologically. In some places the finds are exhibited according to subjects matter. In other words, visiting the Antalya Museum is taking a trip into the history of Anatolia a trip that takes one from the first flint stone tool of man to a recently woven carpet.
On the two walls of the entrance hall that comes before the main halls of the museum, there are ceramic panels. The panel on the right depicts the Yivli Mosque and typical white-washed Turkish homes as well as 19 century appearance of the inner part of the castle of Antalya. The panel on the left, however, displays a map of the ancient regions and ancient cities as well as the map of the ancient regions and ancient cities as well as the map of the present province. The plaque of the left of the main entrance is an award from the Council of The of the Year at their 1988 meeting in Delphi.
The Antalya Museum is among the leading museums of the world on account of its sculpture works from the Roman period and unique finds found during the rescue excavations of the museum. In Antalya Museum, which is a unique open air museum with is archeological richness and the international excavation center, many excavations and researches have been carried out by Turkish, German, American, French, Austrian and English archaeologists and science commissions. Most of the rescue excavations in the region and the environmental arrangement have been performed by the curators of the museum.