More than 2,000 years ago, the Hierapolis Archaeology Museum served as the public bathhouse for the thriving city of ancient Hierapolis. Thousands of years earlier, it was a crossroads for people from across the classical world arriving to trade. See the artifacts those people left behind, now collected in the museum that has been located in the baths since 1984. Sometimes overlooked by tourists content to wander amid the ruins outside, the museum is a reminder of the scale of historic events that took place in the region.
Left of the entrance, notice a selection of intricately carved column tops, or capitals, brought here from the Hierapolis agora. On a hot day, find relief in the cool air of the museum lobby, a pleasant change from the somewhat dusty ruins outside. In the first room, wander through a selection of artifacts from excavations at Hierapolis and Laodicea. Crouch down to look at minute stonework on sarcophagi or try to puzzle out the meaning of inscriptions in Latin and other languages.
Take a whirlwind tour of more than 4,000 years of history in the next room, displaying finds from the entire area. Start in the Bronze Age, with rounded forms of ancient idols, and marvel at the delicate metalwork of later Hellenistic, Roman and Byzantine jewelry. See how much changes and how much stays the same in an impressive collection of coins from the 6th century to the Ottoman Era.
End with the sculpted reliefs of the last room, where enigmatic faces give reminders of the thriving cultural connections that created the wider Mediterranean world.
Stroll up the hill to the Hierapolis Archaeology Museum in about 5 minutes from the center of the Hierapolis archaeological site. Alternatively, walk barefoot from Pamukkale through travertine pools in about 20 minutes. Drive from the center of Pamukkale in about 10 minutes. Parking is available near the north and south gates of the archaeological site.
The museum is open daily except Mondays from midmorning to early evening. Admission to the museum has an additional fee over the price of admission to the larger archaeological site.