Ephesus (Ionia) 861 Efes/Selcuk - Έφεσος

Ἔφεσος - Ephesus, important Archaic to Late Antique polis at Efes/Selcuk in Ionia (Aegean Turkey), Turkey

Modern description Archaeological Atlas of the Aegean

An Early Bronze Age installation with imported Early Cycladic pottery (second half of 3rd millennium BC) has been located on the acropolis. Pottery finds of the Mycenaean period (14th century BC).
One of the most important cities in the ancient world. An organized archaeological site with extensive ruins of different periods: close to the modern village of Selçuk are the ruins of the sanctuary of Artemis Ephesia (the first temple from the late 8th century BC, a large dipteral temple of the mid-6th century BC, with a later phase from the mid-4th century BC). In the area of the sanctuary and further S are remains of habitation before the reign of Alexander (Mycenaean installation from the 14th century BC et seq., an Ionian colony from the 8th century BC). Further S is the city from the time of the Hellenistic kingdoms (3rd century BC et seq.) and the Roman period (133 BC et seq.). Almost all the extensive, well preserved and in part restored ruins date from the 1st to the 4th century AD and offer the visitor a very good picture of a large and prosperous urban centre in antiquity. Defensive walls (3rd century BC), broad paved streets lined with stoas or monuments of eminent persons (Arcadian, Embolos), the agora with public edifices (prytaneion, bouleuterion etc. ), the commercial agora, temples (of Augustus, Domitian, Hadrian and a Serapeion), a monumental building that housed the library (founded by Kelsos, the local proconsul of the Roman province of Asia, who was based in Ephesus, and his descendants), one the largest ancient theatres, fountains and nymphaia, gymnasia with baths and complexes of private residences (mosaics, wall-paintings, a fully restored interior).
In Early Byzantine times, until the 6th century, Ephesus was the seat of the Diocese of Asia. The Justinian walls with the so-called 'Persecution Gate' (6th century) survive, as do remains of a Byzantine aqueduct, 5th-century thermae, administrative buildings, houses and Christian basilicas. The basilica of the Mother of God (Theotokos), headquarters of the Synod of Ephesus, was built c. 400 and rebuilt twice on a smaller scale after the 6th century. The restored basilica of Saint John the Theologian, on Ayasluk hill, was built originally as a timber-roofed basilica (c. 300, rebuilt in the mid-5th century) and reconstructed in the reign of Justinian I (6th century) with the addition of a row of six hemispherical vaults resting on piers. Part of the sculpted and mosaic decoration is preserved. Next to the basilica are ruins of an octagonal baptistery (5th century) and an octagonal sacristy (skeuophylakion) (late 6th-early 7th century). In the E gymnasium ruins of an Early Christian basilica with mosaic floor (5th-6th century). S of the city, at the site of Panaya Kapulu, is a radically restored house (probably 6th or 7th century) which Roman Catholics believe was the home of the Virgin Mary.


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