Turks and Ephesians lived together
İZMİR – Anadolu Agency
The recent excavations in the ancient city of Ephesus, located in İzmir, have revealed significant historical data, according to the statement by the head of excavations, Sabine Ladstaetter. Contrary to general belief the city was ruined during Turkish raids, the Ephesians and Turks actually lived together in the city for many years.
Dating back to the Neolithic Age, the ancient city of Ephesus had its heyday during the Hellenistic and Roman eras, as the Roman capital in Asia.
Ladstaetter said history books recorded that life ended in Ephesus in the 7th century but a house unearthed to the south of the Virgin Mary Church showed that life continued in the city until the 14th century.
She said that the excavations in the house were some of the biggest in 2015, adding, “We found a pretty large house south of the Virgin Mary Church, three years ago. This nearly 500-square meter house has a courtyard with marble and mosaic floors and rooms. We also found pieces of tools used in the production of wine and olive oil.”
Ladstaetter said the house had similarities with the Yamaç Houses of the ancient city. “Considering the furniture in the house, we see that life was luxurious in this house. We found more than 3,000 coins, lots of valuable metal goods and hundreds of ceramic vases in the house. It is a really rich inventory,” she said.
Ladstaetter said they wanted to offer the house to visitors of Ephesus in the future, since it was located on a popular spot in the ancient city.
“When the excavations are done next year, we will open this place to visitors. The most important information [gathered from] this excavation is that life did not end in Ephesus in the 7th century. History books generally say that … people left Ephesus and moved to the Ayasuluk Castle when Muslims came there.
But we see in this house that life continued until the 14th century here ... This is very significant information because we previously thought that everything was ruined when Muslims came here, Ephesus was abandoned. Now we disproved this fact,” Ladstaetter said.
Last years of Ephesus
According to many historians, the ancient city of Ephesus, which had its heyday in the 2nd century A.D., lost its importance when its harbor, the city’s gate opening to the world, was surrounded by alluvial water.
Despite the attempts to clean the harbor, malaria appeared. Then, earthquakes and Sassanian raids in the 600s caused the end of life in Ephesus. The city center then moved to Ayasuluk Hill.
The latest findings show that life continued in Ephesus after 1304 when the Aydınoğulları Beylic came to the region.