The first archaeological museum in İzmir was opened in 1927 in the Ayavukla (Gözlü) Church in the Basmane district after three years of collecting works of art . In 1951, a second archaeological museum was opened at Kültürpark. Due to the high density of artifacts from the surrounding ancient cities, a new museum was needed.
Therefore a new and modern museum building was built in an area of 5000 m² within the Bahribaba Park in Konak.
The museum has been designed to meet all kinds of needs with its exhibition halls including laboratories, warehouses, photography, library and conference hall. The works of art numbers are over 5000 in the museum building and in the garden.
The three-storey museum building was designed in sections.
Top Floor Showrooms:
The works in the first gallery of this hall of the museum were found in various parts of Western Anatolia. Small-scale artifacts such as terracotta figurines, pottery and oil lamps made of glass, bronze and ring stones were grouped and exhibited in showcases. These took part in a chronological order from prehistoric times to the end of the Byzantine period. The locations of the artifacts are not known for sure . These works were brought to the museum by means of donation, confiscation and purchase.
The artifacts in the gallery of the exhibition hall are works of art known as the result of archaeological excavations. These were also displayed in chronological order within the context of being educational and instructive. The artifacts in this section are the artifacts that were found in the archaeological excavations in the ancient cities of Old Izmir, Candarli, Myrina, Foca, Erythrai and Lasos.
There is also a treasury office on the same floor. In this section, we can see the bronze Demeter, which was found in Halikarnas, the glass and bronze works of gold grave gifts. Some of the showcases were arranged with gold coins belonging to the Greek and Roman periods and coins of the Duchy of Venice.
Middle Floor Show Room:
On this floor, which is the entrance floor of the museum, marble sculptures, busts and sculpture head portraits are exhibited. These works in the hall are in a chronological order like the upper floor. Within the 8 showcases in the halls, small sized works made of marble were also grouped among themselves and showcased .
The statue of the Bronze Athlete, which is found in Kyme because of the first examples of the large-scale marble statues of antiquity in Erythrai at the entrance of the hall, is of special importance since it is the rare bronze specimens found in Kyme. This hall represents Western Anatolia in full with its works.
Part of this floor is divided into grave cultures. In other sections, sarcophagi and grave steles made of terracotta and marble on various dates are exhibited . Among the sarcophagi, terracotta Klazomenai sarcophagi can be seen in the ancient world which is famous for its sarcophagi. The late Hellenistic grave steles in the hall are among the richest in the world. Among the important structures of the Hellenistic era, the '' Belevi Burial Monument '' ceiling cassette reliefs are also in this hall. At the end of the hall, the high relief sculpture group of Poseidon, Demeter and Artemis, located in the Agora Ruins, which was completely in the center of İzmir, was found in Üzmir as well as in the beautiful examples of the hall. With this view, İzmir Archeology Museum gives enough information about Western period's civilization and culture periods from Prehistoric ages to today. In addition, it is one of the most important museums in Turkiye that exhibits the understanding of art exhibits and ancient times with examples of the rule in this area .