Bodrum Museum of Underwater Archaeology

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Previous excavations near Muskebi (now Ortakent) identified human habitation in the Mycenaean Age, ca. 1600 B.C. More than forty burial places dating back to that time were discovered and a rich collection of artifacts found there is now housed in the Bodrum Castle.

arrow Bodrum, then known as
Halicarnassus, was the birthplace of Herodotus who has been awarded the title of “Father of History”. Some critics have called him “Father of Lies” due to a discernible slant and exaggerations contained in his works. He was involved in a plot of a coup d’etat and had to scurry into exile.


arrow Lelegians and Carians, natives of Anatolia, are the earliest inhabitants of the Bodrum peninsula to be identified by name. Carians are specified by Homer in the Iliad as allies of the Trojans during the Trojan War fought ca. 1260 B.C. Some historians pose other dates and a few even continue to question the fact of the war itself. Partisans of Homer are generally more vocal.

arrow Bodrum was in fact the site of a monumental tomb of its ruler, Mausolus. The structure, called the “Mausolleion”, was regarded as one of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World and it gave the word “mausoleum” to many languages. The foundations and some remains of this memorial can be seen off Turgutreis Street. Major pieces of statuary were removed to the British Museum by Charles Newton. For this and other similar services to the British Crown he became a “Sir”.

arrow Alexander, as a 19-year-old teenager, long before he was tagged “the Great”, sent a secret emissary to Halicarnassus to put in a bid to marry a Carian princess, a niece of the reigning rulers. Philip of Macedon, Alexander’s dad, threw a fit upon learning of the conspiracy and exiled some of those involved.

arrowarrow Remember Shakespeare’s “Julius Caesar”? If so, you’ll recall Brutus and Cassius, the principal knife-wielders in Caesar’s murder. In the civil war that followed, this same Cassius kept his fleet in the harbor of Myndus, today’s Gumusluk, exacting, none too gently money, materiel and provisions from the local population to feed and equip his rebels. They lost.

arrow The town of Turgutreis is named for a native son, Turgut Reis, a famous admiral of the Ottomans, known as Dragut in western historical sources.

arrow Throughout history Bodrum was known by various names. The known ones are Zephyria, Halicarnassus, Mesy, Castrii Sancti Petri, Petronion, Petrum, Budrum and, finally, Bodrum. During this long existence its inhabitants included Carians, Lelegians, Dorians, Lydians, Persians, Medes, Macedonians, Romans, the Mentese clan of the Seljuk Turks, Knights of St. John (these were composed of the English, French, Italian, German and Spanish contingents) and Turks of the Ottoman Empire and the Republic. Current residents, in addition to the Turkish majority, include American, Australian, Austrian, Belgian, Dutch, English, French, Finnish, German and even Japanese nationals.

arrow First known human habitation on the Bodrum peninsula - and the first from this era to be discovered in the Aegean region - occurred in the Chalcolithic (‘copper-stone’) Age, ca. 5500-3000 B.C. Artifacts, including a stone ax and pottery, were unearthed in a cave near Gundogan in 1995.

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