The Secrets of Ephesus - new guidebook to Ephesus

The Secrets of Ephesus

Many travellers dream of visiting an ancient city that has been preserved not only in the form of modest ruins. Would it not be so much more exciting the see such a city in its glory or at least in the state that would echo the magnificent past of the place? While many experienced tourists can point to Pompeii in Italy as such a city, there is also another great location where history is still alive. Ephesus, the pearl of eastern Mediterranean, is a perfect demonstration of the ostentatious wealth of the Greek settlements on the shores of Asia Minor. While Pompeii was erected mainly of bricks, Ephesus shocks the visitors even today with the generous application of the best and most expensive construction materials, including many variations of marble.

Naturally, such a splendid archaeological site as Ephesus receives thousands of visitors daily, and it may seem that it does not hold any secrets from them. Millions of photos are taken there every year and then appear in books, leaflets, websites, and social media channels. Can we hope to discover something not published on Facebook or Instagram there? Is it possible to find a peaceful and quiet corner or see the grand theatre and the lavishly decorated Library of Celsus without the crowds? This book has been prepared with the hope to assist all of the readers ready to find out more than can be learned about Ephesus from popular guidebooks and information boards.

Ephesus Museum in Selçuk

A visit to Ephesus Archaeological Museum in Selçuk is the perfect complement to the tour of the ruins of the ancient city of Ephesus. This small but fascinating institution has in its collections a number of exhibits from the area of the ancient city, the Temple of Artemis, the Basilica of St. John, and the fortress on Ayasuluk Hill. Moreover, other archaeological sites situated nearby are represented, including the finds from the Belevi Mausoleum and Çukuriçi Mound where the oldest artefact in the museum's collections was found – a stamp dating back to 6200 BCE.

Statue of 'Beautiful Artemis'
Statue of 'Beautiful Artemis'

December 2019 in Turkish archaeology

December 2019 brought wonderful news for the new Troy Museum, as it was shortlisted for the European Museum of the Year Award. Moreover, the new tourism season of 2020 should see two new museums opened in Turkey. The first one is the Museum of the Story of Hazelnut in the Black Sea province of Ordu. The second venue is the Cappadocia History and Culture Museum, being built underground by carving volcanic tuff rocks in the Avanos district of Nevşehir. On the other hand, UNESCO World Cultural Heritage List Diyarbakır city walls are sold and dismantled, and the historical city of Hasankeyf is disappearing under the waters of Tigris River.

Diyarbakır city walls
Diyarbakır city walls

Archaeology in Turkey - 2019 in review

2019 was another busy year for the archaeologists working in the area of Turkey. Let us start the summary of this year by giving some basic facts. In 2019, 153 excavation projects were carried out throughout the country. 31 of them were conducted under the Turkish management while 122 were headed by foreign managers. The major archaeological sites where these teams worked were: Olympos, Patara, and Side in Antalya Province, Kibyra in Burdur, Laodikeia and Tripolis in Denizli, Teos in Izmir, Pisidian Antioch in Isparta, Parion, Assos, Trio in Çanakkale, Zeugma in Gaziantep, Anemurium in Mersin, Euromos, Stratonikeia, Lagina and Knidos in Muğla, Zerzevan Castle in Diyarbakır, Silifke Castle in Mersin, Beçin Castle in Muğla, and Harran in Şanlıurfa.

 Palace of the Porphyrogenitus - Tekfur Sarayı Müzesi
Palace of the Porphyrogenitus - Tekfur Sarayı Müzesi

İsa Bey Mosque in Selçuk

İsa Bey Mosque is located at the southwestern foot of Ayasuluk Hill in Selçuk, between the ancient Artemision and the Basilica of St. John. It is the most impressive example of Muslim architecture in the town. Erected in the 14th century, it represents the transitional period of Anatolian architecture — post-Seljuk, but pre-Ottoman. This mosque is also one of the oldest and most impressive works of architectural art remaining from the times of the Anatolian beyliks.

İsa Bey Mosque in Selçuk
İsa Bey Mosque in Selçuk

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