In a recent revelation from the Ministry of Culture and Tourism in Turkey, archaeologists have made a significant discovery during their excavations in Amasra.
Amasra, originally known as Sesamus, has a rich historical legacy dating back to ancient times. Named after Amastris, a Persian princess and ruler of Heraclea, Amasra is mentioned in both Homer’s Iliad and the writings of the Greek historian Strabo. Situated on a peninsula along the banks of a river bearing the same name, the city boasts a storied past.
Under the guidance of Zübeyde Kuru, Director of the Amasra Museum, archaeological excavations have yielded an ornate statue dating back to the 2nd century AD, a period of Roman influence.
This remarkable statue was uncovered at a depth of 3 meters below the ground’s surface and stands approximately 1.5 meters tall. Crafted from marble, it portrays a partially disrobed female figure, with a cloak draping the lower half, gracefully positioned atop an urn set upon a pedestal.
According to experts, the statue likely represents a nymph from Greek mythology—a lesser female deity symbolizing nature’s essence.
Nymphs, immortal like their divine counterparts (except for the Hamadryads), are classified into various subgroups, including the Meliae, associated with ash trees; Dryads, connected to oak trees; Naiads, found in freshwater settings; Nereids, inhabitants of the seas; and Oreads, dwelling in mountainous terrains.
Nymphs have left an indelible mark on classical art, literature, mythology, and fiction, with the Romans particularly venerating them as water-related divinities.
Zübeyde Kuru, speaking on behalf of the Excavations and Research Department of the General Directorate of Cultural Heritage and Museums of the Ministry of Culture and Tourism, made the following statement: “During our excavations at the Bartın Amasra Gymnasium, we unearthed a statue dating back to the 2nd century AD, standing at 1.53 meters tall and believed to depict a nymph.”