The province Manisa, which has been established on the northern skirts of the mountain that has been known as Sypylos since the archaic periods, is one of the residence locations that could continue its life until today. In accordance with Homer, Manisa and its surroundings have been established by Magnets from Teselia, who participated Troia War and has been a civilization cradle especially during 7th - 6th centuries BC in the period of Lydians. Manisa has been one of the most important cities also in the time of Roman and Byzantine Empires. Manisa, which has been the capital city of Saruhanoğulları Principality founded by Saruhanbey in 1313 and the city of princes in the Ottoman Period has changed its religious, cultural and architectural face in the Republic Period and has been a modern city of the Republic Period.
Manisa people, trying to pay their faithfulness debts to the past by the way of collection and protection, evaluation and exhibition of the documents showing the life styles, production powers, beliefs and pleasures of the region population for centuries, have brought the movable cultural assets in Manisa provincial borders to Manisa and stored them and for the first time in October 29th, 1937, exhibited them in the madrasa section of Muradiye Complex, which has been arranged as a museum, with a ceremony to which the governor of the time, Murat Germen has participated.
Mimar Sinan's madrasa consisting of domed porches and rooms surrounding an internal courtyard having a rectangular plan close to a square has become insufficient in terms of the places for the storage and exhibition of the works that increased in number from day to day, therefore the soup kitchen having a larger volume, that is located on an axis in different angle in the east of the madrasa, has been arranged as the Archaeology section of the museum in 1972.
The cultural assets being protected and exhibited in the Archaeology section of the museum are important especially in terms of reflecting the cultural character and life styles of the folks living in the Lydia region. All of the works in the section have been brought from the tumulus residences in Lydia region and from archaic cities such as Sardis "Salihli", Philadelphia "Alaşehir", Thyateira "Akhisar", Julia - Gordos "Gördes", Saittai "Demirci", Apollois "Mecidiye - Akhisar", Magnesia Ad Sipylus "Manisa", Stratonikeia - Hadrianopolis "Siledik - Kırkağaç", Nakrasa "Bakır - Kırkağaç", Attalia "Selçikli - Akhisar", Daldis "Kemer - Salihli", Tabala "Yurtbaşı - Kula", Aigai "Manisa", Kharakipolis "Çağlayan - Gördes", Maioneia "Menye - Kula", etc.
In this collection, it is possible to see the rich culture of the region starting from the Bronze Age until the end of the Byzantine Period.
Under the porches of the soup kitchen; the cult sculptures of gods worshipped starting from the first times, such as Abundance Goddess Kybele and Athena, Dionysus, Hermes and Roman Period sculptures and busts showing portrait features are exhibited.
Among Byzantine works, Mary - Christ, marble reliefs of the angels Gabriel and Michael, the grave fresco with peacock brought from the vaulted grave in Sardis, silver bible case and various Christianity symbols and various types of candles are exhibited in an arrangement reflecting the characteristics of their periods in the best way.
In the coin collection in the museum; the coins minted in the period between the most ancient times and the end of Ottoman period in our region, especially in Sardis can be found in chronological order; golden diadems, rings, earrings, bracelets, silver pots and ladles, bronze figurines, ivory hairpins, each of which are samples of small finds belonging to the cultures of Prehistoric, Archaic, Classic, Hellenistic, Roman and Byzantine periods can be seen in the collection (Picture - 5 - 5a - 5b).
The largest hall of the museum, called as Sardis Hall, having an important place among the Turkish and world museums has been reserved for the works obtained from Sardis excavations performed since 1957 until today. In this hall, we can find the works of Lydians, which has become a strong state since (the) 7th century BC, and the cultural exchanges in the period between the early Lydia Sardis to the late Sardis in completed form. Here, Sardis gods, Sardis drink and kitchen pots, the material data of ritual meals, molds of various Jewellery and floor mosaics of the houses of Sardis administers and the bronze helmet used in the war made against Persians in the middle of the 6th century BC and various guns are found. At the same time, the crater and double lions used in the synagogue in late period Sardis are presented to public in compositions compliant with the original.
In the sculpture hall of the museum, besides the synagogue mosaics, Aphrodite, young girl, young athlete sculptures, large dimensioned sculptures belonging to the men and women that showed worthwhileness in their terms and that are honored by the city commissions and the carvings of the compositions belonging to the stories having an important part in mythology are exhibited.
In another hall, where the fossil footprints belonging to the homo sapiens species human beings living in the region in 25000 BC, it is possible to see various versions of beak mouthed and three legged ceramic pots and rytons that are known as the best samples of Bronze Age dead burying culture coming from the prehistoric residences of the region and the idols made of marble reflecting the worshipping patterns and god ideas of the region in early ages, the works forming an important group (psykter, amphora, kylix, various bronze guns) representing the Miken Period and cooked earth sarcophagi belonging to Klozomenai city and other small finds.
The excess number of inscriptions and steles exhibited in the internal and external courtyards of Manisa Museum shows the interest paid by the scientists and the public as well as the museum personnel to the written documents, although the most effective reason is the rich epigraphic documents in the region. The inscriptions obtained in the surface researches and excavations carried out in Manisa and its surroundings have been examined and taken to the museum and articles have been written about their subjects. In these inscriptions, we can find the expressions relating to the cultural history and socioeconomic structure of Lydia in archaic times, how the individuals serving to the country were honored, circulars of emperors and kings, the milestones showing the distances between the cities in Roman Period, the religion - related expression of the Roman and Byzantine period.
Madrasa part of Muradiye Complex is arranged as a section where samples of Anatolian Turkish art are exhibited today. The work having the earliest date in the section where the goods used in the military, religious and civil life in Saruhan, Ottoman and Republic periods is the wooden door wings belonging to the minbar of Manisa Ulu Mosque. Besides the perfection of the wooden carving and ivory inlaying art on the door wings made of nut tree with kündekari (interlocking) technique, the existence of an inscription stating that these have been made by Daki Oğlu Mehmet in accordance with the patterns of "Yusufoğlu Fakih" makes the work have the quality of a historical document. The showcases, including the samples of encaustic tile art that reached its top point especially in the 16th century in Anatolian Turkish art, parts from gilded silver thread ornamenting, hand - written works and writing tools belonging to the 17th - 18th centuries are exhibitions that draw the attention of the audience. The works transferred from Topkapı Palace Museum in 1965 are important in terms of providing information relating to the 19th century palace life. Among them, the satin belts showing that everybody coming in front of the Sultan could not kiss the hand and skirt of him, but kiss the "throne belts" hanging from the sides of the throne and the shaving apron of sultan covering the whole body; golden thread ornamented bathing towels; "surre sack" in which the money to be spent for the repair and maintenance of Kaaba before the pilgrimage season each year draw the attention of the audience. Net woven steel armor, golden patterned helmet and knee protection, shield made of rhinoceros skin, bow belonging to archery, thimble, wrest protection and rifles ornamented with inlaid mother - of - pearl and bone and war instruments and the steel swords, on which the names of the owner and the master are written are the rare works of the museum collection.
Besides the palace goods, religious works and military guns, the silver Jewellery ornamenting the Anatolian man and the embroidered hand painted clothes ornamenting the headwear; the hand made covers, towels and clothes representing the skills and preference of Turkish woman form the treasury of values, all of which can not be exhibited by the museum.
Thyateira archaic city, which is on the borders of Akhisar district centre of Manisa province, has remained under the modern residence today.
In the excavations carried out in the area that is in the middle of the modern city and called as Tepe Cemetrey between the years 1968 - 1971; a portico dated between the 2nd - 4th century and the ruins of a building having and absidal plan dated to the 5th - 6th century have been found. The Portico is among the streets with columns constructed in many cities of Western Anatolia in Roman Empire Period. The building with abscissa is thought to be a basilica that does not have a religious function.
Although the date of construction of Ulu Mosque, which is the oldest religious structure of the city is not known precisely, it has architectural findings showing that it has been built as a pagan temple and converted into a church in the Christianity period. It has been converted into a mosque in 15th century.
The acropolis of the city is on the hill, where Akhisar State Hospital is located.
A big part of the city, that is in the borders of Alaşehir district of Manisa Province, has remained under modern residence today.
Philadelphia, which has been founded by Attalos Philadelphos the 2nd, who is a Pergamon king, has been called as "Small Athena" due to the excess number of its temples and the festivals held in the city in Roman Period. The city, which kept its importance in Byzantine Period, has been surrounded with a strong wall in that period.
In the excavations performed in Philadelphia, a theatre and a temple dated to the Roman Period have been found. During the excavation works performed in the theatre, a big part of the scene (stage building) and a small part of the cavea (sitting part) has been brought into daylight. From the temple, which is thought to be constructed in the 2nd century, only base and some marble architrave blocks have reached today.
One of the most magnificent monuments of the city is St. Jean church, only three pillars of which could be protected. The basilica constructed in the 6th century has been subject to repairs in the later periods.
Another building found during the excavations is an entrance door called as "Eastern Door" belonging to the Byzantine city walls. The door protected with two towers, one of which has a semi - circular and the other has a rectangular plan, has been closed during the Turkish attacks and has not been used since that date.
Aigai city, which has been established in the rocky land in the west of Manisa Province, in Yunt Mountains region, in the borders of Köseler Village, is one of 12 Aiol cities mentinoned by Herodotus.
In accordance with the archaeological data, the history of the city goes back to the archaic Period (the 6th and 7th century) and the city has become an important centre in the Hellenistic Period. In this period, many new buildings have been constructed and the spreading area of the city has been widened. The city, which has been subject to great damage because of the earthquake that happened in 17, has been re - constructed in the Period of Emperor
The area on which the ruins of Aigai city are located, is called as Nemrutkale in the region. The walls of the city have been constructed in accordance with the condition of the land. In the city walls, the agora building having three floors and a stoa in front of it and the reinforcement walls bearing this building are located in the east; bouleuterion is located in the north of the agora; terrace - walled stadion is located in the south; the theatre is located in the west; Demetre temple is located in the west of the theatre; the ruins of another temple with peripteros plan are located in the north.
At approximately 6 - 7 km east of the city, the ruins of Apollo temple exist in Kocadere bed. No excavations have been made in the city yet.
Sardes Archaic City
Sardes city, which is the capital city of Lydia Kingdom, has become a Persian centre after the destruction of Lydia Kingdom by the Persians in the 6th century BC. The city, which kept its importance in the Hellenistic and Roman Periods and which has become a bishopship centre in the Byzantine Period, makes its name live today with Sart town near Salihli.
Sardes excavations started before the First World War and continue with the joint participation of Harvard and Cornell Universities and American Eastern Sciences Research Institute since 1958 without interruption. In these excavations, finds providing important information belonging to various terms of the city have been obtained. "Lydia Period gold refining and processing workshops", where gold, which is shown as one of the resources of the wealth of Lydia Kingdom, is mined, refined and processed, is found in Northern Paktolos region in 1968.
"Bintepe" region, where Lydia king graves are located is an area where there are many large and small tumuli. These tumuli, which compared with the Egyptian pyramids, were famous also in the archaic period.
The acropolis of the city has the appearance of a high and steep hill. Here, besides the city walls reflecting the Lydian stone workmanship dated to the 6th century BC, the ruins of a fort belonging to the Byzantine period have been encountered. These findings show that the acropolis had been used for a long period for defence purposes.
The temple, whose construction was started in the Hellenistic Period, was probably located in the holy area of an old Kybele cult. The temple is in Ionian style and has a pseudodipteros plan. At the beginning, it has been constructed in the name of Arthemis. In later periods, the cella of the temple has been divided into four parts and sculpture heads belonging to Arthemis, Zeus Polieus, Roman Emperor Antoninus Pius and his wife Faustina have been found in these divisions. The temple, which has been destroyed in the earthquake that happened in 17 AD, has been re - constructed in the time of Tiberius in accordance with the old plan. A chapel has been added to the southeastern corner in the 4th century.
Bath - Gymnasion Complex
The plan of the building that is in a central section of the archaic city is included in a group that is called as "Empire type". The feature of this type is the placement of its rooms and halls symmetrically on a straight axis and combination of them in a single room at the centre.
The palaestra (square courtyard) covering the eastern half of bath - gymnasion complex was used for sports activities and the vaulted halls in the west of this place were used as baths. The two - floored place with columns providing passage to the bath section from palaestra is called as marble courtyard.
The building, which is thought to be completed in the mid of the 2nd century has been subject to many repairs in various periods.
The building in basilica form, which is located in the south of the palaestra of the bath - gymnasion complex in the city has been converted into a synagogue in Roman Empire Period ((the) 3rd century). It consists of an entrance courtyard with columns and a main place. In the main place, which is thought to have a capacity of approximately one thousand persons and in the entrance section, the floor was covered with mosaics and the walls were covered with coloured marbles.