Friday, October 26, 2012

Ephesus

 
Here are just a few of the photos I took at Ephesus yesterday. The first one is what remains of the library. It's the most intact of the old buildings, and one of the most commonly photographed of the sites here. Notice the marble columns. They're in great shape considering that the library was built in the third century!!! At the time it was the third largest library in the world. I shiver to think of the knowledge once held here that has since been lost to history.
 
 
You'll see remnants of all sorts of other buildings at Ephesus: civic or government buildings such as the one above, market places, homes with mosaic flooring that you can still see . . . the cats really like this one!
 
 
There are no words to describe the sheer awesomeness of this place. Our tour guide, Sezgin, told us that there have been several cities on this site: The earliest city was here around 6500BCE, built by the Amazons. This was followed by Greek, Roman, Byzantine, and Ottoman cities. The current city just a few kilometers away is called Selçuk. And the Turkish name for Ephesus, by the way, is Efes.
 
 
Above: Tablets with Ancient Greek writing.
 
Below: The Greek goddess of victory, Nike.
 
When you consider how old this stuff is, it's amazing it has lasted so long! I mean, seriously, what do we make now that will last thousands of years? (Other than disposable diapers and nuclear waste?)
 
 
 
Over time, of course, the site has been covered up by nature. Earthquakes and erosion buried a lot of it. In fact, so far only about 20% of the site has been excavated. Imagine what else archaeologists might find! A thousand years ago there was a harbor nearby. Now the (Aegean) sea is some seven kilometers away due to silt from erosion.
 
 
Above is the amphitheater, which seated some 25,000 to 30,000 people. It was here that the Apostle Paul of Tarsus (St. Paul) spoke to the people of Ephesus as documented in the New Testament.
 
I wish I could share all of my Ephesus photos with you here because I have several more!