Sabine Ladstatter, Director of the Austrian Archeology Institute and Head of the Ephesus Ancient City Excavations, said that they reached a sensational find during the 2022 Ephesus excavations.
Stating that archaeologists have unearthed a local neighborhood with shops dating to the Early Byzantine Period, Ladstatter said, “This is the most important discovery in Ephesus Ancient City since the Terrace Houses in Ephesus, which are now cult buildings of the ancient city of Ephesus, were found 50 years ago.” said.
Sabine Ladstatter said that the finds in the 2022 Ephesus excavations were very well-preserved and continued as follows;
“The site apparently disappeared suddenly in 614-615 BC. A thick and dense layer of fire covered all the household items in the rooms. Thus, they were all preserved for future generations. This find is comparable to the archaeological site of Pompeii, even though they are dated to different chronological times.”
Emphasizing that the newly discovered area is located in Domitian Square, right next to the Upper Agora in Ephesus, the political center of the Roman city, Sabine Ladstatter noted that in the next studies, they will focus on the details of the demolition and the consequences that can be drawn for the history of the city.
Amphorae with mackerel, gold coin shop safe, and pilgrim bottles…
Ladstatter said that a small-scale building consisting of a few shops has been unearthed in an area of 170 square meters so far.
“The rooms in this residential area were preserved to a height of 3-4 meters and were completely covered by a massive layer of destruction. An incredibly rich assemblage of finds emerged from under the layers. Ceramic vessels numbering in the thousands were found. Between them are filled the remains of seafood such as mussels or oysters. Whole bowls or amphorae (pottery) filled with salted mackerel were unearthed. In addition, peach, almond, and olive seeds, as well as seeds of charred peas and legumes, are among the other finds. The vaults of several shops are particularly noteworthy, where four gold coins and bronze coins are found. “The rooms are a kitchen, warehouse, taberna, oil lamp and shop with Christian pilgrim souvenirs and an atelier with an attached sales room. Many small pilgrim bottles were discovered here that were sold as gifts to Christian pilgrims and could be carried around the neck.”
Mentioning that the archaeological findings show sudden, dramatic and significant fire destruction, Ladstatter stated that it will not be possible to determine the exact day of the destruction, but that the seeds found will at least clarify the year.
Emphasizing that they have not encountered any signs of the earthquake so far, Ladstatter said that they could not find any human remains in the region.
Sharing the information that a series of arrows and spearheads were found during the excavations as evidence of military conflict, Sabine Ladstatter said, “The coin finds, which witnessed the destruction at the ancient city of Sardes, about 100 kilometers from Ephesus, are in line with the findings of Ephesus. attacks, but this has been the subject of debate in research so far.” used the phrase.
Sabine Ladstatter added that she believes the new finds in Domitian Square will solve many mysteries in the history of the city of Ephesus.
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