Sunday, October 27, 2013

EPHESUS, TURKEY.....Mind Boggling

I have heard in passing prior to this trip that Ephesus was a place NOT to miss.  As I stated before, I am not a huge Ruins fan, but my brother who was there in 1972 insisted that I had to go.  So go I went.  The experience is beyond description!
After leaving the Virgin Mary's House we traveled down the mountain to Ephesus.  Once again Zachery was sharing his vast knowledge.  HAL does pick the cream of the crop to handle their tours
What I found facinating, was that Ephesus (one of the best preserved ancient cities in the Easter Mediterranean) was once a coastal City.  The road we traveled on used to be all Sea, but after thousands of years of natural disasters, earthquakes, disease & erosion, the site is now at least 5 miles from the sea.

I was not prepared for what I saw.  Once we entered the site words are difficult to find to describe what I saw.  I will let the pictures and my brief description tell the story!!!

Pharmacy....This was basically a sign for the pharmacy.  It was located directly across the road from the Hospital shown below.
They were able to identify the building to the left of this sign as the Hospital from the artifacts that they found during the dig.  There were many medical items including surgical tools and other things that signified that it was a hospital.  Not much different than from today, you go to the doctor/hospital, then across the street to fill your "prescription".  
These ruins continued along the main avenue.
This was where the boutiques were located....a number of shops with the mosaic walkway fronting the buildings.  Zach said it was the equivalent of Rodeo Drive or any major high end retail street found around the world.
They are still working on uncovering and restoring the mosaics.  These are teeny marble stones.  It blows the mind at what painstakingly difficult and tedious work this is!
This is a view looking down the main road/avenue leading eventually to the library.  What has not been uncovered yet up the hill on either side of the main road are the residential buildings that line street above the shops and main businesses.
All these sites along the main road depicted monuments, and significant structures.  Of course my memory fails me....there was so much information that I chose to just listen in amazement, then when I get home I will have a lot of Winter Reading to do to put what I saw and learned in order.  I see a serious update to this blog or a sequel to get all the facts right!
This was the public communal latrines.  Apparently the men would meet there and talk politics while doing their "business"!
This is the library at the end of the main avenue.  It's facade, restored, is impressive, however the inside of the structure was minimal since many of the residents did not read....it was mainly for a statement of grandeur.
Through some arches next to the library is the Agora....the Market place aka a farmer's market where vendors would sell fresh fruit & vegetables and whatever other wares they had to sell.

A closer view of the library facade.  I apologize for the picture arrangement, but at exorbitant internet prices, perfection is not my priority right now!
On the way out of the city, you see the arena.....it was huge.

According to our guide, only 30% of the City has been restored.  He said at least 300 more years before restoration is complete.  I sent my brother pictures and he said it was quite different from 40 years ago.  It is hard to imagine the painstakingly difficult job such a major restoration is.  The site is manned by archaeology students, archaeologists and volunteers.

Also throughout the city were a brothel and a theater.  So we will never see the completed project in our lefetimes and hopefully no other disaster between now and completion will undo all the work that has been done.

Next I will have a post showing the Port of Kusadasi....which turned out to be quite fun & interesting!
See you in Port!!!