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Construction work for the Museum of Archaeology and Ethnography inside the Samsun Fair ground started in 1976 and the Museum was opened on the date of 19 May 1981. The Museum consists of a central hall and two side halls that run parallel to it.

In the central hall, a mosaic from the antique city of Amisos, made during the reign of Alexander Severus the Roman Emperor and repaired towards the end of the 5th century AD in the Byzantine Era, is on display. On the mosaic ceiling, various scenes from mythology are depicted in a symmetrical fashion. In the same hall, there is also the Amisos treasure that was found during excavations by the Museum Directorate in a tomb chamber in the antique city of Amisos. Among golden items on display are crowns, bracelets, necklaces, earrings, buttons, cloth ornaments, and rings, all of which are the most spectacular items of the collection of the Museum. In the same section, there are coins from the Classical, Hellenistic, Byzantine, Seljuk, Ottoman and Republic eras.

In the hall to the right of the central hall, bronze, bone, stone and terracotta items from the Copper, Early Bronze, Hittite, Hellenistic and Roman periods, discovered in and around Samsun, are displayed in a chronological order.

In the other hall, there are items of ethnographical value from Samsun and its surroundings; these include embroidered velvet clothes, embroidered table napkins, vests, money and pocket watch purses, Quran manuscripts, ornaments, firearms, kitchen utensils, carpet, rugs, and the like.

In the museum yard, items from the Classical, Roman, Byzantine and Ottoman periods are on display. Those that attract attention of visitors to the Museum include pithoi, tombs, stelae, milestones, various architectural pieces, and reliefs.