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Ephesus Museum in Selcuk

August 02, 2007

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A tiny ivory frieze with incredible detail was one of many priceless and mind blowing treasures in this museum, which is one of the best in Turkey, with a wealth of archeological artifacts from the ancient city of Ephesus. They say it is best to do this museum after visiting Ephesus and that no visit to the ancient city would be complete if one missed the gems here that add to the story.

The ivory frieze like so many of the wonderful Roman artifacts found at Ephesus was excavated and recovered in the Terraced Houses of the entitled class. It portrays Emperor Trajan and the Roman soldiers in the Eastern Campaign. The detail was exquisite considering how small it was and was probably used in
a table or piece of furniture. The museum was stocked full with these kind of treasures that gave us more of a sense of life in that time and place. We also liked a small bronze statue of Eros with a dolphin that was a household fountain here in the 2nd century.

Mozart loves gladiators for some strange reason, so she was beyond thrilled with this museum’s fantastic gladiator room. She was riveted by the displays showing the cause of death of exhumed gladiators from Ephesus with elaborate drawings and depictions of the cause of death. She brought a book to draw or write about things that she likes and took a very long time at this exhibit. Another hit was an actual picture of the excavation in process next to the very same cleaned up artifacts.

There was an impressive room that was dedicated to the Mother Goddess with two sizable statues of Artemis. Both have rows of bulls testicles which are meant to symbolize fertility and look like eggs or breasts. These were  findings from the temple of Artemis and bring some illumination to the amazon female warriors who founded Ephesus. The first temple to Artemis here was built in 625 BC and there is only one column left of the one that was one of the 7 Ancient Wonders.

There was a scenic park and playground just behind the museum, which I think every museum ought to have, and we spent a little time there resting our feet while Mozart romped around and met a new friend.

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