Marmaris Archaeology Museum gives service in a historical place, in Marmaris fort.
Herodotus wrote that the first city walls in Marmaris were constructed in 3rd thousand BC. Physkos (Marmaris), which was a Karia city in that period, was a passage point between Aegean Sea and Mediterranean Sea, as it is today. The harbor of the city has kept its importance for ages with its trade routes opening to Rhodes and Egypt. Charles Texier, a 19th century researcher, has mentioned in this work of art of a fort dominating on Physkos Gulf, whose ruins were found at Fineks Mountains. It is known that the Great Alexander, who took over Marmaris in 334 BC has had the fort repaired because of its strategic importance.
The only written reference mentioning about the construction of Marmaris Fort that is located at a high point at the back of the Yacht Harbor, is the travel book of Evliya Çelebi. Evliya Çelebi, who visited Muğla and its surroundings in the 17th century, says that Kanuni Sultan Süleyman has ordered the repair of the fort before his Rhodes campaign and that the fort was used as a base during the campaign. In the reference, it is said that the fort was constructed on the main rock having four emplacements, that there were 400 foot walls made of smooth stones, that there were one room for each of warden, imam, mosque caretaker and the guardians, and an inscription on the entrance door. In the work of art, where another history writer Celaloğlu Mustafa tells Marmaris days of Kanuni Sultan Süleyman and his army, the Rhodes campaign and their return to İstanbul, the fort is not mentioned.
Piri Reis, who wrote "Navy Book", does not indicate Marmaris Fort in his work of art, in which he tells Marmaris Harbor in detail, and in the map he drew. In the period between 1494 - 1520, during which Piri Reis drew other forts in Mediterranean and took notes for his book, the existence of a fort in Marmaris harbor was not recorded.
In the light of this information, there is another thought in relation with the date of construction of Marmaris Fort. In accordance with that thought, Kanuni Sultan Süleyman, who ascended the throne in 1520, has demanded the construction of the fort while returning from Rhodes Campaign. Hafıza Sultan caravansary is located at the entrance of the narrow street having steps which leads to the fort. The caravansary, which has a rectangular plan, has seven small and one big rooms and it is covered with arches. In the inscription at the entrance of this building, which is constructed in the same period with the fort, the date 1545 is read. This date supports the thought that the fort and the caravansary were constructed after the campaign, at the same time.
An important part of the fort has been destroyed in 1914 during the First World War with the cannon balls of a French destroyer. In the fort, which is used for settlement by Marmaris people beginning from the pre - Republic period until a recent date, there are 18 dwellings, one fountain and one cistern.
Marmaris Fort has been restored between the years 1980 - 1990 and has been opened to service as Marmaris Museum in 1991. It has seven closed places. The cradle vaulted entrance is opening to the inner garden. The stairs on the right and left of the courtyard provides access to the city walls. Two of the closed areas that are covered with cradle vault are arranged as Archaeology halls. In these halls and in the garden, the stone opuses collected in the region, amphora belonging to the Hellenistic, Roman and Byzantine Periods, candles, bottles, figurines made of cooked soil, various pots and glass opuses, arrow ends, coins and ornamental goods found in the Knidos, Burgaz, Hisarönü excavations are being exhibited. In the ethnography hall, weavings, carpets, kilims, furniture, copper kitchen tools, guns and ornamental goods are exhibited. The places other than those halls are used as an art gallery, an office and a depot.
The museum is open for visit between the hours 08:30 - 12:00 and 13:00 - 17.30 every day except Mondays.
The museum personnel can be contacted on
Tel: (256) 412 14 59
Fax: (256) 412 17 46
Marmaris, which is surrounded by the sea in the west and by the mountains in the south, has been a preferable location in history because of this feature. From the written references, it is learnt that its archaic name was Physkos and it had a special importance among the cities across Rhodes.
Marmaris and the Datça Districts, controlled by the Marmaris Archaeology Museum, show an integrity in a historical geography. There are many traces reflecting the history of the region since the 3rd thousand BC until the end of the Ottoman period. The prehistory of the Marmaris district and the Datça Peninsula is not completely known today. But, the region has been discovered and examined by the native and foreign travelers and scientists starting from the second half of the 19th century.
Physkos, Amos, Erine, Kastabos, Saranda, Bybasslos, Tymnus, Gallipolis, Prynos, Hydas, Cennet Island, Kedreal, Keçi and Bedir Islands; the Euthenna, Bayır - Gebekse, Pymos, Gavur Sancağı, Loryma, Kıran Gölü, Çubucak ceramic workshops, which are in the borders of the Marmaris district; and the Knidos, Bybassos, Trioplon, Burgaz residences which are in the borders of the Datça District were a part of the land of Rhodes Union in Anatolia in an archaic geography, that is they are the cross side of Rhodes. On the peninsula, besides those ruin places, there are many cultural values consisting of single buildings such as a cistern,grave, fort, church, monastery, mill, an oil house, etc.
In recent years, the region is being examined in detail by excavations and surface researches.
Loryma: The archaic city of Loryma is located on Karaburun, close to Taşlıca, Bozukkale. Transportation is provided via the sea until the Bozukkale harbor, after that a climbing for more than one hour is needed to reach the ruins.
It was an important centre among the cities across Rhodes in the 4th century BC. In the archaic city, which has a big gulf, the scientific surface researches was commenced in 1995 under the direction of the German Archeologist Dr. Winferd Held.
Loryma, which is a small city, was established in the 7th century BC. It is surrounded with a two - stage wall dated to the Archaic and Classical periods. In the upper part of the city, lies the acropolis, which is also surrounded by a two - stage wall. The three cisterns above the acropolis and the base ruins belonging to a single building show that this area was used as a shelter in case of danger. The narrow and long harbor fort controls the entrance of the gulf. The dwellings of Loryma are on the terraces carefully made on the slope. The "Artemis Sotaria" holy area is located in the plain that is on the west of the city. On the west of the gulf, the necropolis area longing towards north is beside the temple. On the plain that is in the south of the necropolis, the Apollo holy area is located. Furthermore, the existence of an altar devoted to Zeus Atabyrios, the Rhodes God is known. This information shows that the city, which is at a strategic point in terms of the defence of Rhodes, was under the control of Rhodes. Three churches and many houses were built at the Loryma acropolis, which was a navy base and a gun storage in the Byzantine Period, by using also the archaic period materials.
The city has been completely deserted after the Arabic invasion in the 7th century AD.
Kıran Lake: Transportation via sea is possible to the residence located in southwestern of Marmaris near the dry lake having a diametre of 30 metres, which is a neighbor of Loryma harbor city. After the sea journey ending at Bozukkale harbor, the ruins are reached with a climb that lasts for two hours.
In 1995, as the result of the scientific researches carried out by Dr. Zeynep Kuban and Dr. Turgut Saner, the temple, whose altar has also been protected, theatre buildings and five more building ruins, whose functions could not be determined yet, have been found. Furthermore, with these researches it can also be explained that blocks similar to steles could be placed in the holes that are seen on flat, large, rectangular blocks in addition to the pyramid graves having steps, special to the region. Another grave type seen in this area is the chamber graves made of large, block stones that are covered with cradle roof shaped covers.
The researchers say that the centre might be used as a meeting and a cult centre by the city groups paying tax to Attika Sea Union, which is thought to be located in Bozburun Peninsula.
Çubucak: "Rhodes commercial amphora production workshops" in Hisarönü Çubucak location are being searched by Ass. Prof. Dr. Ersin Doğer, who is a lecturer in Ege University, since 1990 via scientific excavations. It is known that, for approximately 250 years, (beginning from the 3rd century BC - mid of the 1st century BC) the commercial amphorae of Rhodes city state were sealed with stamps bearing the name of the city and with the names of the Rhodes officers selected each year and gave their name to the year during which he was in charge, and the amphorae that did not comply with the production standard were disposed. The found amphorae and their handles, which were accumulated in the vast areas of layers with time, provide important results for the chronology of the term and for the general chronology.
In the excavations, more than 2500 sealed amphorae handles have been obtained. As the result of the examination carried out on these handles, it has been determined that the potter named Hieroteles had been making production for 70 years and that there were 6 more potters who had worked during that period of time.
Burgaz: Burgaz ruin place is located 2km to the north-east of Datça District Centre. Burgaz ruin place, which was introduced to the science world for the first time by Bean and Cook, is thought to be the "Ancient Knidos City". Burgaz excavation works have been performed since 1993 under the scientific direction of Ass. Prof. Dr. Numan Tuna.
The ruin place, which covers an area of approximately 1400 x 400 m lies along the seashore and is the most important centre providing findings belonging to pre - Hellenistic Period. The city is surrounded with walls. In southwest of this area, a tower and sea wall ruins are seen in shallow waters. The ruins of two harbors dated to the 4th century BC can be observed from the seashore today.
As the result of the excavation works, it has been understood that Burgaz settlement had existed since the geometric period, that it had been partially abandoned in the 4th century BC, but the storage and harbor loading on the seashore; and a life depending on agriculture and necropolis utilization in the inner parts went on.
Knidos: Knidos archaic city that is located between the archaic cities we mentioned herein above, on the end of Datça Peninsula, at the point where Aegean Sea and Mediterranean combine. One of the most important among the Western Anatolia shore cities is situated on Tekir Cape.
It is on the borders of Yazı Village of Datça District, Muğla Province. It is connected to Datça via highway with a 35 km road - the last 8 km of which are stabilized. Transportation via sea is made with excursion boats and yachts during the tourist season.
In the period during which the region was under the control of the Persians, approximately in 360 BC, Knidos people left their city near Datça District and established a new Knidos city in Hippadamos plan at the farthest point of the peninsula. Apollo Temple, which was the holy place of Rhodes state was there. Strabon (XIV 656, 2, 15) had written that this place had an appearance of "double city" with both its land and island settlements. Knidos city, which was one of the important cities of the Rhodes Union and which exported wine with its improved trade, was surrounded by a wall reinforced with round and cornered towers. It had two harbors, one military and one commercial. The important buildings and areas in the city are: B, C, D and E Churches, Dor Temple, Propylon, Apollo Temple and Altar, Round Temple and Altar,an assembly building, Korinth Temple, Sun Clock, Dor Stoa, a Theatre, Dionysus Temple and Stoa, Slope Houses, Odeon, Demetre Holy Area, Necropolis and Kap Krio Peninsula.
The history of the city, whose excavation works had been carried out by Sir Charles T. Newton between the years 1856 - 1857 and by Prof. Dr. Iris Cornelia Love between the years 1967 - 1997, are being re - lighted with the scientific archaeological excavations that had been carried out under the direction of Prof. Dr. Ramazan Özgan since 1987. The works are continuing in the mainland on which the city is established and in Deve Boynu, which is Kap Krio Island.
The findings of the excavations show that the settlement goes back to the 14th and the 13th century BC. The condition of the city in the 7th, the 6th and the 5th centuries was very good. The city, which has shown development in economic, cultural and artistic fields, has opened a medical school and has shown itself on a scientific arena.
As other Anatolian shore cities, Knidos was also invaded by the Arabs in the 7th century AD and was completely been destroyed by the earthquakes that occurred thereafter.