Ephesus

Ephesus was an ancient Greek city, and later a Roman city with a population of 250,000 during the 1st century B.C.

We got to wander around on the main marble-paved road framed by a line of columns on either side and peer down the occasional gap to see that the streets were also the top of an elaborate sewage system running under the streets. Ephesus had running water.

The city also boasted a huge amphitheatre, marble latrines and an amazingly restored facade of the city’s library that you see on the left. It is impressive as it stands now, it must have been absolutely magnificent in its time.

We also enjoyed pouring over the construction techniques on display in the diagram you see and thinking about what it would have taken to build a city without power tools.  Another fascinating discovery: the Romans didn’t use mortar – they poured molten lead to set stones in place and hold the iron ‘nail’ they had driven into the stone. Click on the image to see it enlarged.

Ephesus was also home of one of the ancient wonders of the world – the Temple of Artemis/Cybele. Sadly now only one column remains. However, statues of Cybele – and Anatolian fertility goddess –  are preserved in a museum.

Anatolian fertility goddess

Cybele was later co-opted into the Greek and Roman pantheon as the goddess Artemis. But if you ask me, this many-breasted matronly figure is nothing like the young, nimble huntress of the Greeks…

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