Aksaray Museum, founded in 1969 in the Zinciriye Madrasa located in the city center, moved to its new location at the end of 2006 and began to provide services in the cultural field. Our museum was first created by the works collected by Oğuz Demir Tüzün, who is also a Member of Parliament for Niğde, through purchase, excavation, and donation. Aksaray Museum has a face measurement of a total of 12,000 square meters with a closed area of 2,000 square meters.
The museum building, built on an octagonal plan on three floors, has five halls on the ground floor. There are five exhibition halls connected to each other by corridors and a warehouse where archaeological artifacts are placed for one study. The second floor is divided into the ethnography hall, the working places of the museum administration and staff, and the conference hall. On the third floor, there are 5 warehouses where the works are stored. There are 16,093 pieces of artifacts in the museum. Ethnographic, archaeological artifacts, and coins constitute the three main groups of artifacts. Ethnographic artifact group includes daily use items belonging to the recent period, as well as materials such as clothing and jewelry used on special occasions such as weddings, and holidays; swords, rifles, etc. used in wars. weapons also include tools such as scales and dirhams, which have an important place in commercial life. The archaeological artifact group consists of a wide variety of artifacts belonging to the prehistoric periods covering the Neolithic, Chalcolithic and Early Bronze Ages starting from 8.500 B.C and the Middle Bronze, Late Bronze, Iron, Hellenistic, Roman, and Late Roman Periods. The coin group is represented by coins produced from gold, silver, and bronze mines dating back to the Ottoman Period starting from the Greek Period.
In the first hall of the exhibition, there is a showcase where animal fossils and various soil and stone samples belonging to the Geological Periods of Aksaray are exhibited. In other showcases, artifacts unearthed as a result of scientific excavations carried out in the 10,500-year-old Neolithic Age Aşıklıhöyük settlement, which is the oldest settlement of Aksaray and Central Anatolia, are exhibited. Stone mortars and pestles, tools such as blades, knives and mirrors made of obsidian, pendants made of stone and bone, and awls, fishing rods and buckles made of bone are the artifact groups. Besides, the skull of a young woman can be seen, proving that the world's oldest skull surgery was performed at Aşıklıhöyük (10,000 years ago). In addition, there is a visual exhibition reflecting the domestic and non-domestic life of Aşıklıhöyük in two showcases.
In the second exhibition hall, artifacts from the excavations of Musular, a settlement of the Neolithic Period, and the Middle Chalcolithic settlement of Pigeon Rock, dated to a later period (5,500 BC), are exhibited. The Musular works have the same characteristics as the Aşıklıhöyük works in general. The only difference is that the samples of pots and pans, the construction of which is unknown in Aşıklıhöyük, were found in Musular. Stone mortars and pestles from Güvercinkaya, bone awls and handles, sling stones, weights and obsidian tools, handmade terracotta January-footed pots, and animal figurines can be seen here.
The third exhibition hall is dedicated to the exhibition of artifacts from the excavations of Acemhöyük, which have remained in the town of Yeşilova today. Although it lived its heyday in the Middle Bronze Age, Acemhöyük is one of the important representatives of the Early Bronze Age, which was lived between 3000-2000 B.C, in Anatolia. In Acemhöyük settlement, which was one of the important centers of the Assyrian trade colonies that brought the writing to Anatolia,
pithoi (large size grain and liquid storage containers), burnt door fragments, water pipes, stone axes, terracotta pots and coasters, cups, glasses, pots, sacred drinking vessels, buttons and game stones, ingot silver pieces, bone handles, terracotta bullas (seal impressions) are exhibited.
In addition to similar samples of ceramics from the Arıbaş Cemetery, one of the cemeteries of Acemhöyük, recovered in the Acemhöyük settlement, fragments of pots decorated with paint and jugs with clover mouths dating back to the Phrygian Period were presented to the attention of visitors by animating the display case. Although Acemhöyük lost its importance after the Middle Bronze Age, more pot-and-pot-weighted artifacts from a small settlement existing here in the Iron Age are located in the last showcase of the exhibition.
In the fourth exhibition hall, there are showcases where works dated to the Iron Age, Hellenistic Age, Roman, Eastern Roman and Seljuk Periods are exhibited. In these showcases, terracotta pots, fibulae, cooking utensils, glass artifacts, Asclepius statue, jewelry, etc. are exhibited. There are Greek, Roman, Eastern Roman, and Islamic coins and silver and gold treasure group coins in the same hall.
The fifth hall is organized as the hall of Mummies. A mummy belonging to a cat is exhibited next to the child and adult mummies unearthed from the Ihlara Valley and the Çanlı Church near Aksaray, which are mostly dated between the 10th and 13th centuries A.D. Items used in daily life such as beads, necklace beads, pieces of embroidered clothing woven from linen, jewelry from the Eastern Roman Period, oil lamps, etc., which were found with the mummies, are exhibited in this exhibition hall.
In the ethnography exhibition located on the second floor, the craftsmanship of carpet making, basketry, pottery, and stone processing, which are handicrafts made in our province, were revived. In this hall, there is a manuscript Qur'an related to calligraphy, calligrapher's pen holders, men's and women's clothes, a coffee roasting pan reflecting the coffee culture, a cooling container, a coffee storage box, and a cup envelope. In the hand embroidery display case, there are embroidery samples such as uçkur, peshkir, hijab, napkin, and there are hand embroidery towel sets and nalin in the hamam culture display case. Healing stones, ointment containers, and amulets are also exhibited in the faith culture showcase.
In the showcase where the weights are exhibited, dirhams, weighing scales, money changers' scales, and bench weights dated to the Ottoman and Republican Periods are displayed. In the latest display case of this hall, there is a silver fortune telling pot dated to the 13th century. On this container there are 12 zodiac signs known as the Zodiac cycle, as well as prayers. Although the garden landscaping of the museum continues, a pithos area was built in 2016. In 2018, a sheltered section was built for Islamic Tombstones and Inscriptions. The Archeopark area was opened for the 2018 Museum Day, and events are held in this area. A warehouse was built for mosaics and excavation materials. A multi-purpose training hall has been organized.