The Nimara Cave, which is located on the Cennet Island, was declared archaeological and natural site in 1999 and takes the history of Marmaris back to 12.000 years ago. In the Nimara Cave with stalactites and stalagmites of thousands of years and bearing the footsteps of the earliest settlement in Marmaris, a lot of new information was obtained as a result of the rescue excavations that were started in 2007 under presidency of the Museum Directorate of Marmaris, scientific consultancy of Muğla University and with contributions of Marmaris Municipality. Nearly one thousand 500 pieces of coloured glass, blades, tools and drilling bits made of stone and bone were found in the lime during the unearthing works on the cave ground. These findings date Marmaris back to the Bronze Age. The objects refer to the presence of a bead shop in the cave. Hundreds of pieces of pots, votive figurines made of terracotta, votive beads and many coins show that the cave was not only used as a temple and offering place in ancient times but also dwelled by people during the Roman period.
Another ancient site brought to light in Marmaris is the “Goodness Rock Archaeological Park”. The Park is thought to be a part of the Physkos city and known as Eyilik Daşı (The Rock of Goodness) and was turned into an archaeological park as a consequence of the rescuing excavations led by the Museum Directorate of Marmaris. The area which was declared the 1st Degree Archaeological Site in 2001 dates back to the 2nd century BC. Another treasure of thousands of years hiding a secret of the Carian Marmaris was revealed with rescue excavations carried out in 2000. During the rescue excavations in the Goodness Rock, amphoras and Rhodes seal bearing rose motifs were found showing similar characteristics to amphoras of Rhodes and Knidos.
Among the findings, also an amphora was found containing baby bones. The findings of carbon and burnt pieces of wood in the rescuing excavations on the Goodness Rock confirmed that the Carians continued their tradition of cremation in Marmaris as well. However, the dead baby was not burnt or buried with gifts.
Upon completion of the works carried out by the Museum Directorate of Marmaris and Marmaris Municipality, the Nimara Cave was opened along with the hiking trail on 18 May 2008.
The Goodness Rock consisting of hemispherical bowl fragments, oil lamps and coins decorated with simple floral motifs of the Hellenistic period is comprised of many layers. Besides findings from the 2nd century BC, a small number but of multiple period of artifacts such as the pot called olpe with a black belt and goat motif used for serving wine dating back to the 6th century BC with similar findings in Rhodes reveal the relationship between Marmaris and the islands and the Western Aegean during the classical and Hellenistic periods.
Named as Marmaris, Marmorice, Physkos, Physcus, Physco, Paradion (Pandion) or Cressa by different historians at different times; Marmaris was a major Carian port city. Indeed, in many works written on Asia Minor, the distance of Marmaris from Ephesus is given and it is emphasized that it was the most important port providing access from Ephesus to centers such as Syria, Egypt and Rhodes. In his A Geographical and Historical Description of Asia Minor, John Anthony Cramer attaches so much importance to Marmaris that he is astonished to find out that the famous historian Strabo mentions the Physcus port so little. Because Marmaris is considered one of the world’s best harbors the world by many sailors.