EFES is an ancient Ionian city in Western Anatolia. The ruins of this city having the name of “Ephesus” in those days are 3 km. away from the Selçuk district of Izmir. It is in the west. The city was built on the slopes of Mount Prion. According to Greek writers, the first inhabitants of this city are the “Amazon”. An old belief here says the Ions came in 1000 years.
During the following centuries Ephesus was conquered by the Kimmerians, the King of Lydia, Croesus. B.C. VI. by the Persians in the 20th century and Athens in the 19th century. At the beginning of the next century, it was taken by the Persians again, and then they were under the domination of Macedonian King Alexander the Great. Alexander established a democratic administration here. After his death, it passed on to the Greeks and later on to the Romans . In the century XIV, in the time of Timur, was deleted from the map.
There are various historical artifacts in Ephesus, which has changed many hands over thousands of years of history. At the head of these are the Diana Temple, one of the Seven Wonders of the World.
The architectural monuments seen today on the ruins of Ephesus are:
Great Theater: Completed in the beginning of theII. century, it is a building of 24,000 people with three floors.
Agora: It is a big area in 111.111m. dimensions. There were many shops around «Agora» which means “market place”. There was a Greek and a Roman agora in the city. There were many sculptors in Rome.
Celsus Library: It was built in the II. century. The front was 16 meters. There are inscriptions in Latin at the entrance.
There are many archaeological excavations in Ephesus. There are artifacts found in these excavations in the Ephesus Archeology Museum, founded in Selçuk in 1920.
Major Works in Ephesus
EPHESUS was one of the most important centers of Western civilization in ancient times. Today, it is an important place that attracts all eyes in terms of historical artifacts. Every year thousands of tourists flock here from all around the world to see Ephesus. The first place archaeologists wish to work on. When referring to Ephesus, it would not be wrong to say, “Treasures of historical artifacts”.
Searching for historical artifacts of ancient ages and getting information about them was born at the end of the XIX. century. The first place to come to mind when looking for ancient artifacts was Ephesus. The British Museum in London commissioned archaeologist J. Wood. Wood, working in Ephesus in 1869-74, found the Temple of Artemis. In addition, columns which were added by Lydian King Krezus to this temple were among the historical artifacts recovered.
At the beginning of the XX. century. Hogarth, an English scholar studied the temple thoroughly, identified the changes over the centuries and introduced it to the world of science. Hogart, while doing research on the basis of the temple found a treasure full of gold and ivory sculptures. There were golden coins that appeared in the century. This treasure was very important in terms of archeology as well as material value. The treasure is in the Istanbul Archeology Museum today.
The first excavations in Ephesus began in 1895. Work continued until the beginning of the First World War. After the war the scholars gathered on Efes again their attention. The excavations started on behalf of the Austrian Archaeological Institute. Among these works are Vedius Gimnasium, Virgin Mary Church, Port Baths, Arkadiana Street, theater, teens ‘gymnasium, marble street, Serapis Temple, Odeon , and girls’ gymnasium. The sculptures found here are also in Vienna, Istanbul, İzmir, Ephesus museums.
After World War II, in 1955-58, the Austrian Archaeological Institute accelerated his work in Ephesus. While excavating along Kuretler Street, underway, important artifacts were seized . Particularly the fact that the old city had been well organized increased the touristic value of Ephesus suddenly. In the middle, the road was laid with marble blocks, beside the sculptures, columns and mosaic pavement of the Devin elders, shops were brought to daylight . The most important feature of that street was that the scenery was different every once in a while. Therefore, there were fountains, monuments, victory jewels on the street. Hadrian Temple, Trayan Fountain, Victory Gate are among the most important works of art. They draw attention to themselves immediately by their wealth, splendor and beauty beside other buildings.
On the last excavations, on the southern edge of the Panayir Mountain, a city mansion was found near Odeon. This was the sacred place where Hestia, the goddess of January, and Artemis, the great goddess of Ephesus were been. The eternal fire burns here, and the city has all its happiness from this fire.
Artemis sculptures of Izmir and Ephesus today were found and removed from here.
The fact that there was not a single statue of her in the country of Artemis made everyone wonder. In 1956, there were three sculptures in the holy place. One of them was made of white marble in İzmir Museum, it was covered in gold at the time. One of the statues which is stil in Ephesus Museum is as big as a human. This sculpture is the oldest of the Artemis sculptures in the world. At the time of Prytaneion’s ascension, he ascended on a pedestal with a mere five meters with his city crown on his head, and looked to the Ephesians with all his ulteriorism.
Researches in Ephesus are still going on. But within the last two years, no significant results have been obtained from these studies, and on the other hand, repairs are continuing. Until today, Mary’s Church, Kuretler Street, St. The Jean Church has been completely repaired.
The Most Spectacular Historical Artifacts Found in Ephesus
It was rebuilt in the Hellenistic period and then in the Romans period. Actually, it was 24,000. The stage building is partially undisturbed. The settlements were removed for use in other buildings during the Byzantine period.
Ancient theater was entered from the doors opening on the walls supporting the theater on the right and left of the stage building. After these doors, the audience passed through closed corridors and galleries, taking their place without disturbing anyone.
Temple of Ephesus Hadrian
Roman Emperor Hadrian visited Ephesus on his trip to Anatolia. On the pediment of the temple is the city goddess Tukhe in the keystone, and there is a female relief on the back between the sprouts. Temple was restored in A.C IV., and it was even more beautiful with the ornaments related to the history of Ephesus. This temple was unearthed in 1956.
According to the beliefs of the Ephesians, the Goddess Artemis Epuhesia gives abundance , the birthright, the guardian of the city, the master of all nature and animals. For this reason, the city has a crown at the head of the statue, blessed cattle in its chest, sacred animals in its skirts. The sculpture is missing today. Actually, he had hangs on his hands and two deer on his side.
St. Jean Church and Aydınoğulları Castle
According to the rumor, Jean (one of the apostles of Jesusu)died in Ephesus and was buried in Ayasuluk Hill, which is known for his name. In the early ages of Christianity, a church was built in his name, and this church was later enlarged. The fortress behind the church was rebuilt from the beginning to the end of Byzantine and then the Aydınoğulları.
In the century II.A.C. Ephesus lived the brightest era. The city was spread over an area of four and a half square kilometers. His population was over 300,000. At the same time, Anatolia’s largest port was the seat of the Asian State. When the Kaistros river filled the sea, the marsh, mosquitos and malaria left the city of Ephesus dead. Thus, Ephesus went to ruin. The plain seen behind the debris was the sea. Now the sea is no longer seen.