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Ephesus Antique City History

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Ephesus Antique City History


Ephesus

Foundation of Ephesus antique city, located in Selçuk County of İzmir City, goes until 6000 B.C. Based on recent studies and excavations, bronze age and Hittite settlements were explored on the Ayasuluk Hill where a fortress is located and in tumuluses located around Ephesus (pre-historical hill settlement).

The city was referred as Apasas in the Hittite period. A port city Ephesus, where immigrants from Greece arrived and settled around 1050 B.C., moved to the areas around Artemis Temple in 560 B.C. Today’s Ephesus City was established by Lysimakhos, one of the commanders of Alexander the Great, around 300 B.C. As Ephesus experienced its most prosperous and magnificent times in Hellenistic and Roman periods, it was populated about 200,000 as a capital of Asia state and as the largest harbor city. Ephesus relocated once more in the Byzantium period and moved to the Ayasuluk Hill in Selçuk County where it was first established.

What is the most significant characteristic of Ephesus City?
As an important gate between east and west, Ephesus was primary harbor city. Such position enabled this city to become the most important political and commercial center of its era; and made it capital of the Asia state in Roman period. This was not the sole reason made Ephesus important in the antique age. The largest temple of the Artemis culture based on the mother-goddess Kybele tradition of Anatolia was located in Ephesus as well. Artemis Temple in Ephesus is considered as one of the seven wonders of the world.
Ephesus was an antique Greek city, which then became a Roman, located on the western coast of Anatolia 3 km away from today’s Selçuk County. In the classical Greek period, it was one of the twelve cities of Ionia. Its foundation could be traced back until 6000 B.C. the Neolithic period. In the recent studies and excavations in the region, settlements from the bronze age and Hittite periods were determined around the tumuluses surrounding the Ephesus and on the Ayasuluk Hill where the fortress was located. The name of the city was Apasas in the Hittite period. A port city Ephesus, where immigrants from Greece arrived and settled around 1050 B.C., moved to the areas around Artemis Temple in 560 B.C. Today’s Ephesus City was established by Lysimakhos, one of the commanders of Alexander the Great, around 300 B.C. As Ephesus experienced its most prosperous and magnificent times in Hellenistic and Roman periods, it was populated about 200,000 as a capital of Asia state and as the largest harbor city. Ephesus relocated once more in the Byzantium period and moved to the Ayasuluk Hill in Selçuk County where it was first established. Ayasuluk conquered by Turks in 1330 and became capital of Aydınoğulları State. Then, its population and significance faded afterwards of 16th Century continuously. Finally, by the time Turkish Republic announced in 1923, it was renamed as Selçuk; today it is a tourism town housing 30,000 population.
one of the significant places of the antique world, Ephesus, have played significant role in civilization, science, culture and art fields in its history which goes back until 4000 B.C.
As an important gate between east and west (Asia and Europe), Ephesus was primary harbor city. Such position enabled this city to become the most important political and commercial center of its era; and made it capital of the Asia state in Roman period. This was not the sole reason made Ephesus important in the antique age. The largest temple of the Artemis culture based on the mother-goddess Kybele tradition of Anatolia was located in Ephesus as well. Artemis Temple in Ephesus is considered as one of the seven wonders of the world.
Since Ephesus has re-located along its history several times, its ruins are scattered across a large area. Various excavation and restoration activities have been implemented on ruins distributed across about 8 km² area and opened for visitors.
1- Ayasuluk Hill (the earliest settlement location from 3000 B.C. from Byzantium period; plus St.Jean Church with significant importance for Christians),
2- Artemision (an important religious center from 9th-4th Centuries; hosts Artemis Temple, one of the seven wonders of the world)
3- Ephesus (settlement of Archaic-Classical-Hellenistic-Roman and Byzantium Period),
4- Selçuk (important settlement in periods of Seljukian and Ottoman and today’s prominent tourism county) and Ephesus, significant civilization center in the antique age welcome about 1.5 million visitor annually.
The preliminary archeological excavations in Ephesus were commenced by J.T. Wood in the name of the British Museum in 1869. Studies of Wood to find famous Artemis Temple were continued by D.G. Hogarth afterwards of 1904. Austrian excavations even continued today were initiated by Otto Benndorf in 1895. Studies of the Austrian Archeology Institute interrupted during the 1st and 2nd World Wars were continued after 1954 without any interference. In addition to studies of the Austrian Archeology Institute, Ephesus Museum has been maintaining excavations, restorations and organizations since 1954 in the name of the Ministry of Culture and Tourism.

Essential Monuments in the Ephesus Antique City:

Magnesia Gate
Eastern Gymnasium and
Government Agora Bathes
Upper Agora (Government Agora) and Basilica
Odeon
Prytaneion – Prytaneion (Municipality Palace)
Domitianus Temple 
Pollio Fountain
Memmius Monument
Herakles Gate
Kuretler Street
Skolastika Bathes
Latrina
Traian Fountain
Hillside Houses
Varius Bathes
Hadrianus Temple (Hadrian Temple)
Public Toilets (Latrina)
House of Love
Alytarkhus Stoa
Oktagon
Heroon
Celcus Library
Mazeus
Mithridates Gate
Tetragonos Agora (Merchant Agora)
Marble Street
The Great Theatre
Port Street (Arcadiane)(Arkadiane Street)
Theatre Gymnasium
Port Bath (Port Gymnasium and Bathes)
Mary Church
Twin Churches (Council Church)
Palace Building
Coliseum Street (Stadium and Gymnasium)
Artemis Temple
Vedius Gymnasium
The Companions of Cave 

St.Jean Church
İsa Beg Mosque
Ayasuluk Fortress

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