Ephesus - The ruins of Ephesus is 18km away from Kusadasi and it is one of the best preserved ancient cities of the world. It was built by Attic and Ionian Greek colonists in the 10BC and it is a very important UNESCO WORLD HERITAGE site. The city was famed for the nearby Temple of Artemis, one of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World. Ephesus is also an important place for Christians. Ephesus was one of the seven churches of Asia Minor.
The original site of Ancient Ephesus was most likely established on the Aegean coast, on the shores of that sea which today is located 8 km. away from the archaeological excavations. Over the centuries, in fact, the rubble brought onto the plain of the "Kucuk Menderes" has enlarged the alluvial plain surrounding the archaeological zone, leaving behind in actual fact the shores of the Aegean.
In Roman times it was situated on the northern slopes of the hills Coressus and Pion and south of the Cayster (Kucuk Menderes) River, the silt from which has since formed a fertile plain but has caused the coastline to move ever farther west. In Roman times a sea channel was maintained with difficulty to a harbour well west of Pion. By late Byzantine times this channel had become useless, and the coast by the mid-20th century was three miles farther west.
Ephesus is considered one of the greatest outdoor museums of Turkey, in fact perhaps of the world. The links of Ephesus with the Amazons and the myths had survived throughout history. So, there was a competition for statue of an Amazon for the Temple of Artemis to be made by the famous sculptors in the 5th century B.C.. The town of Apasas under the rule of Ahhiyawa Kingdom mentioned in the written records of the Hittites of the 14th and 13th centuries B.C. is Ephesus. The linguists accept that the word Ephesus was derived from Apasas. An important number of the findings revealed by the excavations carried on at southern slopes of Ayasuluk (Selcuk) castle by the Ephesus Museum since 1990 are dated to second millennium B.C.. Therefore, we can surely say that Apasas was founded on the Ayasuluk Hill.
Ephesus was attacked by the Cimmerians in the 7th century BC but got back onto its feet again soon afterwards. The 6th century BC brought a prosperous period for Ephesus. Later, Ephesus came under the rule of the Lydians and then under the Perisans. In 334 BC, Alexander the Great captured Ephesus, which offered no resistance. The death of Alexander brought dark days to Ephesus, which was ruled in 287 BC by Lysimachos. Most of the works of art seen today came into being during this period. Later on Ephesus came under the sovereignty of Rome, and Emperor Augustus declared Ephesus a metropolis. In the year 262 AD Ephesus was attacked and destroyed by the Goths and after this, it never regained its previous importance.
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