Mineral Research and Exploration (MTA) General Directorate

History of Nature Museum

The previous works related with establishing the Natural History Museum first started with intentions of establishing the unit within intentions of establishing the unit within the construction of a set of new buildings being planned to house the expanding M.T.A. institution in 1960.

This idea having been realized and purpose achieved, the Museum was first opened to the public on 7 th February, 1968. The possessed fossils, minerals and rock samples of the Museum have been collected during the geological works since MTA's established time, 1935. The scientific materials gathered from these technical explorations have been saved with a great care, up to now. At present, the materials with their reports, belonged to Turkish and foreign geologists taking parts in various M.T.A.'s projects, have been recorded and then orderly filed. Among these samples, the most conspicuous and the best representative ones are displayed en the show cases.

Hereby, The Museum, with ist comprising any sorts of materials related to the geological eras and the required ones consisting with international standarts, is a scientific and educational unit.

The museum covers an area of 4000 m2 and consists of three storeys. The whole ground floor has been reserved for paleontology. In this section, about 3000 fossil samples are firstly introduced systematically then orderly consisting with the fauna and flora in historical geology. From Dinosaurus, an Allosaurus fossil casting bought from the U.S.A., a Mastodon fossil casting presented gift of the Natural History Museum of France and the skeleton of Maraş elephant, which has attracted many other Nation's Natural History Museum's admiration as well as requests, were set up in this section. A giant Ammonite fossil, 1.5 meters in diamer and having lived in the vicinity of Ankara about 193 years ago, and a set of footprints presumably belonging to early men who lived in Anatolia 25,000 years before our time, can also be seen in the ground floor. The footprints found in Manisa Salihli Çakallar hill are the world up to now. The site, with our General Directorate's undertakings and efforts, is now being preserved as an open museum. Fossils such as 10-15 million years aged, rich fauna and flora of fishes, frogs, plants and ants taking parts among the well known diatomites of Kızılcahamam, as well as 65-90 million years aged Hippurites which indicate a certain climate belt of upper cretaceous and carry an evolutionary reduction at present, are displayed in the ground floor.

The first floor is reserved for mineralogy and petrology. 2650 minerals and rock samples, consisting with international standards are exhibited systematically. The typical precious, semiprecious stones of Turkey, different kinds of marbles of the country, a lighted Turkish maps showing the ore minerals found by M.T.A. and the materials showing the way to our mining history are also exhibited here.

The karstic events which are extremely interesting for Turkey, are introduced in this section with the same forms of their original appearances.

The basement is the section where there are the dioramic representations. Here, the still living, but extinguishing typical animals of our country are introduced within their natural environments.

The Museum is administered by Museum Executive Committee which is dependent upon the, General Directorate. The members of committee have been appointed from different departments of M.T.A. by the General Directorate, among technical personnels who specialized in their majors and also carry at least 20 years of experience in their disciplines.

Public interest shown in this Museum ever since its foundation is openly reflected in the growing number of visitors. The Museum carries considerable among of help to the education, in particular. Mostly students, same 442,136 visitors walked in to look it over, by the end of 1988 (every year 20-25 thousand visitors).

The museum has attended to the campaign of the Ministry of Culture's new arrangements, which are exhibiting the National wealth abroad, and represented M.T.A. in the Mineralogy, Petrology Exhibitions (Expo 85), (Verona 86) and taken great interests.

The Museum has presented genuine contributions not only to the scientific institutions and universities, but also to any establishements interested in earth sciences, to provide them geological materials within their works.

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