MUSEUM’S PIONEER ARİF MÜFİD MANSEL
Side welcomes visitors in a Roman bathhouse which was restored and converted into a museum in the ancient city. The collection in the museum is largely composed of artifacts from Side excavations carried out under the leadership of Emeritus Professor Arif Müfid MANSEL. Side museum carries the title of being the first museum opened in a village in Turkey.
SIDE MEANS “POMEGRANATE” IN LUWIAN LANGUAGE
Side, the most important port city of Pamphylia in ancient times is located on a peninsula at a distance of 8 kilometres from Manavgat. The name of the city, whose history dates back to the 8th century BC, means “pomegranate” in Side language, a branch of Luwian language. Side was under the Lydian rule together with the whole Pamphylian region and it was also ruled by Persians and Alexander the Great throughout the 7th century.
The city was often attacked by pirates that terrorized the eastern Mediterranean Sea and shortly after the foundation of the province of Asia, province of Pamphylia and Side went under the rule of the Roman province. After the Roman Consul Publius Servilius cleared the region from the pirates, Pamphylia became the only state in 78 B.C. After the 7th century, Side antique city, which was weakened by the looting of Arab raids, plunges and crusades, was completely abandoned starting the beginning of the 12th century.
HELLENISTIC, ROMAN AND BYZANTINE WORKS ARE EXHIBITED
Side museum in the Ancient City is located in a bathhouse built in the 2nd century that has reached its present day thanks to the additions and changes in the 5th and 6th centuries. The ancient bath opposite the Roman period agora (market place) was restored and converted into a museum in 1959-1961. The museum collection includes works from the Hellenistic, Roman and Byzantine periods. The artifacts exhibited were unearthed during the excavations of the ancient city of Side and among those are; sculptures, torso portraits, relief sarcophagi and ash urns, grave steles, inscriptions in Greek and Side language, altars, amphoras, architrave Frieze columns, column capitals, pediments, architectural elements, coins belonging to Pamphylia and Pisidian cities and Side coins.