Ephesus, a port city now in Turkey, had a Greek past, but truly blossomed as a Roman city. In fact, at one point it was the second largest city (250,000 inhabitants) in the Roman Empire. Mismanagement of it's harbor, allowing silt to fill it, followed by malaria, caused it to be completely abandoned fairly rapidly, and eventually it was buried by earthquakes and dirt from the surrounding hills. It is now a huge archeological dig. The most recognizable structure at Ephesus is probably the rebuilt facade of the Library of Celsus.
Our excursion at Ephesus started at the museum there. Our tour was billed as "with expert", and it turned out our expert was in fact the retired director of the museum and had overseen the dig for several decades. Once we arrived at the ruins, he had tremendous insight into them, including pointing out areas he had been involved in excavating. He was constantly scanning the ground as we were walking around, and at one point, found a roman coin!
Current activity is focused on the "Terrace Houses" - an area of houses that belonged to probably the most wealthy of the Ephesus residents. As we walked through the area, we could watch as they tried to reassemble the walls, mosaic floors, etc. from all the shattered pieces. Truly an epic jigsaw puzzle.
Recreation of Ephesus Sitting Room
Site of the Old Harbor
Columns and Arch
Terrace Houses Restoration
Paritally Assembled Mosaic
How They Spent Their Summer Internships
Restoring a Wall
Category:Travel and Places