Ancient Egyptian amulet discovered in Turkey

The amulet features markings such as a hand holding a sword, letter characters and a pair of wings.

View of Amasra Castle (photo credit: JORGE FRANGANILLO/CC BY 2.0 (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0)/VIA WIKIMEDIA COMMONS)
View of Amasra Castle
(photo credit: JORGE FRANGANILLO/CC BY 2.0 (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0)/VIA WIKIMEDIA COMMONS)

An enchanted amulet stamp seal believed to have been made in ancient Egypt was uncovered in excavations in Amastris, an ancient city located in the Amasra district of Bartın, Turkey, the Daily Sabah reported on Wednesday.

At the excavation site, which was donated to the Turkish Education Ministry in 2014, a school was being constructed starting in 2017, but the project was stopped and the area was specially designated when artifacts believed to be from the Roman era were found there.

During the excavations, conducted by researchers from the Amasra Museum Directorate and Bartın University, researchers found the amulet, with a height of 0.79 inches and a pyramidal shape of 0.35 inches.

The amulet features markings such as a hand holding a sword, letter characters and a pair of wings.

Head of the Archeology Department of the Faculty of Literature at Bartın University Associate Professor Fatma Bağdatlı Çam noted that the artifact is the first of its kind to have been found in a Roman structure made of marble from the second century AD.

Castle in Amasra, Turkey (credit: BABBSACK/CC BY-SA 3.0 (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0)/VIA WIKIMEDIA COMMONS)Castle in Amasra, Turkey (credit: BABBSACK/CC BY-SA 3.0 (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0)/VIA WIKIMEDIA COMMONS)
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“We can say that it is the only example of its kind found from the Roman layer in Anatolia during excavations.”

Associate Professor Fatma Bağdatlı Çam, head, Archeology Department, Faculty of Literature, Bartın University

"We see that there is a figure depicting the god Bes, whom we know from the Egyptian religion, depicted with incised lines at the base of the work, Çam said. "On the upper part of the work, we see that there are letter characters and talismanic words from the ancient Egyptian religion called demotic.

"The letter characters on the work probably represent this meaning of protection. As a kind of talismanic object, we can define it as an object that a person wears to be protected from evil and diseases or in whatever sense he wants to be protected. We can say that it is the only example of its kind found from the Roman layer in Anatolia during excavations."

What will the researchers do going forward?

Çam added that the research is a milestone for archaeologists, saying: "We will investigate what this seal means and whether the person wearing it is a priest, a religious official, or whether someone carries it for health and safety purposes. Perhaps we will find out whether a soldier in the legion brought it here (after) his mission in the east."