Ancient marble bathtub unique in Turkey

Ancient marble bathtub unique in Turkey

Ancient marble bathtub unique in Turkey

An 1,800-year-old marble bathtub, which was about to be sold by smugglers in the western province of Aydın’s Karacasu district, has been delivered to the Aphrodisias Museum Directorate.

It was reported that the bathtub, with the lion’s head reliefs on it, is unique in Turkey as it is made of marble entirely.

The marble tub, which is 1 ton in weight and 1.80 meters in length, was seized during an operation carried out by gendarmerie on March 31 in Karacasu when it was about to be sold by smugglers.

Experts noted that the bathtub could have been used by a state administrator or a wealthy business person and that it is the first ever ancient marble bathtub found in Turkey. It was reported that after the completion of the official process, the bathtub will be restored and opened to visitors in the museum.

Provincial Culture and Tourism Director Umut Tuncer examined the bathtub and emphasized that the ancient city of Aphrodisias is a very special area, which is on the UNESCO World Heritage List.

“People of Aphrodisias were wealthy. We think that the marble bathtub is a special piece found in this city, which dates back to 1st BC. This bathtub, which is about 1,800 years old, is one of the rare examples in the world because it is completely marble. As far as we know, it is the only example in Turkey. There are bathtubs created with various mud layers that have been found in Turkey before, but this completely marble structure actually expresses the wealth of this region and the welfare of the society. There are lion head reliefs on the right and left sides of the tub. We perceive that these reliefs represent power and authority. We believe that this tub was in the house of a state administrator or a wealthy businessperson who ruled the region at that time,” he said.

Tuncer said that the tub would be restored and displayed at the museum.
“We believe that it will attract the attention of art lovers. There is a bath structure in all of our ancient cities. These places were actually used as public and social spaces.

The culture of hot water, bathing and cleaning was an important part of the period. We have seen everything we expected to see in this tub. Aydın is a magnificent historical city of cultural civilizations at the intersection of Lydia and Caria regions. The richest ancient city of the region is Aphrodisias. The city also had a large sculptor school. We can see the curves that reflect the facial expressions, muscles and mimics in the sculptures in the Aphrodisias Museum,” he said.