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Ephesus

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Mediterranean Cruise

Ephesus 2010

 

In the distance is the original village Ephesus. It is hard to imagine that 2,000 years ago the shore of the ocean was at the edge of town. We are on our journey up a mountain from the village toward the 'House of the Virgin Mary.' We travel by bus for a distance of approximately 7 or 8 miles to our destination.

 

We arrive and walk about 1/2 mile to the house. The photo is looking back from the direction we came.

The house was the home of the Apostle John. As is recorded in the bible, Jesus while on the cross charged John  to take care of his mother Mary and Mary to go with John. Because of the danger for the apostles and his followers following his death John journeyed with Mary to his home.

At the house is an erected statue. Catholics make pilgrimages to this location regularly and consider it to be a sacred place.

Our guide referred to this well as a baptistery. In reality, it was a retainer for water for use in the home.

In the 1940's the ruins of the house were found and reconstructed to represent the original home.

We were not allowed to take photos while inside the house. In what we would call a living room there is a grotto or sanctuary of sort that forms one wall. Obviously, it wasn't a part of the original house.

Near the house is a sign telling a part of history about the house, how it was discovered etc. I took an overall photo of the sign and then some close-ups of portions of it so that it is readable.

After our visit to the 'House of Mary' we travel by bus for a distance of about 5 - 6 miles to the town of Ephesus that was built around 400 BC. It took us a little over two hours to walk the distance trough the ruins of the town. The photos that follow are not necessarily in the order that we walked through. There are just too many things to keep them separated and really not important to tell the story.

As we approach the ruins we begin to get a feeling of how large and historical this place is. The plant in the photo grows naturally and abundant through the area.

The pile of stone rubble lays in a field at the beginning of the town, as well as some others scattered through it, that contain portions of walls, columns, beams etc. Our archaeologist guide, who works at the site, explained that they are a part of a huge jigsaw. When piece are able to be match together they are reassembled using epoxy and are replaced from where they came.

We never think that in 400 BC that city would have running hot and cold water but it did. The pipes are clay tiles that were excavated and stored on site. They are lined with lead. The tiles that fed the town led to a water stream from where the source of water was. One of the strings of tile traveled underground beneath a bonfire -- hence hot water was made. From there it was routed to the destinations in town for use by the residents.

A little over halfway through we begin our walk down 'Marble Street.' It is paved with marble stones. When it was in use the columns along each side acted at street lights with torches burning at the tops.

Above is a stone arch that was reconstructed jigsaw style.

 

In the photo looking down the street we see remains of homes that were along the street on the left side. The homes for the wealthy were built along the right side.

The normal homes, along the left side of Marble Street, remain largely as they were found except for the wood closures that were build some years ago to protect from vandals many years ago. One of the most interesting things about this area is the walkway that traverses the area in from of the homes. It resembled a Turkish carpet but was built of the concrete in use at the time with bits of colored stones embedded into it mush as we would use ceramic tiles today. (Ceramic tiles were not in existence at that time.)

Notice the intricate stone patterns that give the illusion of a woven carpet.

Of course, it was a very warm day. One of many cats that live there found a pool of water for a drink.

What we found to be interesting is how intricate some of the carved stones were. We don't know how the colors were attained but they are not stained. I suspect they are individual stone pieces that are held in place somehow.

Imagine sorting through a field of rubble to find the matching pieces to form this arch.

The photo above is a relief of Nike, the winged goddess of victory. She holds a wreath made from laurel leaves, an emblem of victory in her left hand and a stalk of wheat in her right hand; she is in a flying position. This comes from the Roman period and was discovered among the ruins of the square of Domiitian.

In a field is a collection of stone coffins found at the site.

The footprint carved in the marble stone is an early form of advertising. The foot point to the town brothel.

We are about to enter a private residence of one of the more wealthy.

Below is a view of the public toilet. Below the street, and floor, is a sewer trench that is about 16 feet deep.

 

 

 

The small trench contained warm running water. A plant, with similar texture to a sponge, was dipped into the water and used as we would use toilet paper. After use it was dropped into the toilet where the running water of the sewer system eventually washed to the sea.

Near the end of the town we approach the Great Theatre. It is awe inspiring.

 

At the edge of the town we find the Grand Theater shown below.

 

It seats over 3,000 people.

When we arrived there were two guides leading another group. As they spoke and joked around we could hear everything they said no matter where we stood in the arena.

The arena is the place where Paul addressed the Ephesians as recorded in the Book of Acts.

 

We are finally at the end of our tour. From here we will re-board the bus and return to Kusadasi.

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Last modified:    April 2013