Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Turkey 8: Ephesus

Settlements in and around Ephesus have been dated back to 6,000 BCE and before.

However, Ephesus reached its peak in the first and second century AD under Roman rule, when it had between 400,000 and 500,000 inhabitants and was considered second only to Rome in its importance to the empire.

Under the Romans, Ephesus had modern sewers, the remnants of which can be seen above.

A close up of a sewer connection in the clay pipe.

Lonely Planet claims Ephesus is the best preserved classical city in the eastern Mediterranean, if not all of Europe.  We walked down a main street that was easily a mile in length.

We saw remnants of ancient pools, intricate mosaics, and...

...temples, in this case one dedicated to the Roman Emperor Hadrian.

A close up of Hadrian's temple entrance detail.

Ephesus had public toilets with running water.  They were unisex toilets

Our Turkish guide explained that one could lift one's robes, as one did not wear underwear back then, sit,  do one's business and easily stay modest.  It is said that folks actually came here to socialize. I think we counted 28 seats in this one.

Again, imagine what it must have been like to have walked down this street when Ephesus was in its prime.  It had to have been awe inspiring.

More details caught my eye.  Another carving detail for the lintels that connected street side pillars.

Here is a wonderfully preserved Corinthian column top.

And, a piece of an Ionic column top.

This last detail might interest you.  It is still part of the pavement, near an entrance to the city.  The main image is the foot of a woman. On the right of the foot is an image of cards, meaning many women.  To the left of and above the foot one can see a crude heart made out of dots carved into the pavement.

According to our Turkish guide, the message to illiterate travelers entering the city was clear:  This way to a house full of many women with love in their hearts. Indeed, the local brothel was right down the street.

Continue on to Post 9: More Ephesus, by clicking here.


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