The Istanbul Archeological Museums, just down the hill from Topkapı Palace host collections of art from the ancient Near East, Greece and Rome.
There are actually three museums here: the Archeological Museum, the Museum of the Ancient Near East, and the Tiled Kiosk (Çinili Köşk).
The oldest stuff, in the Museum of the Ancient Near East, (Eski Şark Eserleri Müzesi) includes one-of-a-kind treasures like the tiled reliefs of lions and kings from the fabled gates of Ninevah, and the oldest written peace treaty ever discovered. They are cuneiform tablets which preserved the words of the Hittite and Egyptian kings. The Egyptian hieroglyphic version of the treaty was carved into stone at the Great Temple of Amon at Karnak, Luxor, Egypt.
The Archeological Museum is devoted to the period after about 500 BC, It includes many of the finest Greek and Roman marble statues discovered in Anatolia.
You can also find artifacts found in the Yenikapı excavations which uncovered the Harbor of Theodosius and exposed the remains of 34 wrecked ships from the 7th to 11th centuries, and even Stone Age burials up to 8500 years old.
The Tiled Pavilion (Çinili Köşk) is among the oldest Turkish secular buildings in Istanbul, an elegant residence built by Sultan Mehmet the Conqueror. It’s been beautifully restored and is now an outstanding Museum of Turkish Faïence.
The entire museum complex is open daily except Monday from 09:00 am to 19:00. (From November through March till 17:00/5 pm.)
Admission costs 15 TL. The museum complex is included in the Istanbul Museum Pass.