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Antalya Museum claims third place among Turkey’s historical and archaeological museums, and its range of artefacts is impressive. Some of its 30,000 items are displayed in 13 rooms, which range from prehistory to the 19th century. The earliest significant finds are from a Phrygian tumuli of Elmalı Bayindir, revealed in the late 1980s. Dating from around 600 BC they include votive statuary, jewellery and beautiful blue painted ceramics. There are also stelae with Lycian carvings. The Emali Treasures are a staggering hoard of coins from the 5th-century BC Attica-Delos League, much of which was smuggled out of the country unnoticed until one sold in the US for a record breaking $600,000, and the hoard was tracked down. The Kamluca treasure is another highlight: a hoard of 6th-century Byzantine gold and silverwork belonging to the Monastery of Syon in Korydalla, near Kumluca. In 2011 the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston agreed to return the top half of a 2nd-century AD torso of ‘Weary Herakles’ to the museum, to join the bottom half, which had been excavated in Perga in 1980.
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