Selcuk Ephesus Museum – Izmir

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Selcuk Ephesus Museum is one of the most important museums in Turkey with its cultural activities and visitor capacity, as well as important artifacts from the Mycenaean, Archaic, Classical, Hellenistic, Roman, Byzantine, Seljuk and Ottoman periods in Ephesus and its surroundings. Since the Ephesus Museum is a museum that mainly exhibits the works of an ancient city, it was preferred to exhibit the works according to the places they were found instead of a chronological and typological display. Accordingly, the halls were arranged as “Slope Houses and House Artifacts Hall”, “Coins and Treasure Section”, “Grave Artifacts Hall”, “Ephesus Artemis Hall” and “Emperor Cults Hall”. In addition to these halls, in the inner and middle gardens of the museum, various architectural works and sculptures are exhibited in harmony with the garden decor.

Selcuk Ephesus Museum - Izmir

Selcuk Ephesus Museum – Izmir

Two large Artemis statues, Eros head, Eros statuette with Dolphin, Socrates head are some of the world-renowned works of the Ephesus Museum. There are still approximately 64 thousand works in the collections of the Ephesus Museum. This number increases with the works unearthed as a result of archaeological excavations carried out every year or with the donations brought by the people of the region, and the museum collections are enriched. The “New Finds Hall” was created in the Ephesus Museum with the thought of putting these artifacts into the service of the world of science and humanity in a short time. However, this hall is not always sufficient, and the exhibitions in other halls need to be renewed in the light of new finds and in accordance with the contemporary museology approach. In accordance with this understanding, in the new arrangement made in the Hillside Houses and House Findings Hall, it is aimed to create a subject integrity by exhibiting the find groups together. Examples of medical and cosmetic instruments, jewellery, weights, tools of enlightenment, musical and entertainment finds and weaving tools, which are indispensable needs for people of all ages within the subject of daily life in the living room; Figurines used in home cult and decoration, statues of emperors and gods, busts and furniture are exhibited. In a part of the hall, a room known as the “Socrates Room” from Efes Yamaç Evler is arranged with photo mannequins in its decor consisting of frescoes, mosaics and various furniture.

Selcuk Ephesus Museum - Izmir

Selcuk Ephesus Museum – Izmir

The new sections of the Ephesus Museum opened to visitors within the museum, Ephesus and Selçuk as a result of new arrangements:

1- Arasta and Bath Section: Adjacent to the central garden of the museum, in the section forming integrity with the museum, the commercial life in old Turkish towns and various handicrafts that are about to disappear are exhibited live. The development of the grain grinding system (mills), which has an important place in the local life related to agriculture and its different types, coppersmithing and eye bead making; In the section where Turkish tents are exhibited, the old Turkish structure and the 16th century Ottoman bath were also restored and evaluated in the exhibition area.

2- Ayasuluk Library: An old Turkish building (14th century) in the back street of the Ephesus Museum has been restored by the museum, and the building has been given the function of a small library where the people of the neighborhood can read daily newspapers and books.

3- Museum for the Visually Impaired: One of the ancient shops in the lower agora of Ephesus was restored and turned into a museum for the visually impaired. In this museum, which consists of two parts, copies and original works are exhibited.

Featured works of the Ephesus Museum

Head of Socrates

With his wavy hair, beard and mustache covering his upper lip, the portrait of Socrates is made of fine white marble.

Selcuk Ephesus Museum - Izmir

Selcuk Ephesus Museum – Izmir

In the work, where the details of her face and hair are expertly given, there are forehead lines formed due to the eyes looking up. The cheek lines of the work, whose pupils are detailed, are also indicated.

Androklos and His Dog Sculpture Group

The legendary king Androklos, who founded Ephesus as a Greek colony in the 10th century BC, was carved with his dog. Many parts of the sculpture group are missing. The elaborately embroidered collar of the dog standing next to a tree trunk draws attention.

Selcuk Ephesus Museum - Izmir

Selcuk Ephesus Museum – Izmir

According to ancient writers such as Strabo and Pausanias; Androklos determines the location of the city he will establish in Anatolia, based on wild boar and fish, as told by an oracle. According to the legend; The king and his companions find Ephesus by following a wild boar, who was afraid of the spark that jumped from the pan while cooking fish. The sculpture group is a Roman copy of the sculpture Meleagros made by the sculptor Skopas in 340 BC.

Head of Cupid

The Eros Head, which is made of white, high quality marble and has a fine workmanship, is broken from the neck. The head is tilted slightly to the right and this posture shows that Eros is looking at the bow he is holding.

Selcuk Ephesus Museum - Izmir

Selcuk Ephesus Museum – Izmir

There is an innocent, childlike expression on the face. The hair is curly and gathered back in the middle. The work is a copy of the sculpture “Eros Stretching His Broadcast” made by Lysippos, one of the famous sculptors of the Archaic Period, between 330-320 BC.

Ivory Frieze/Trajan Frieze

The frieze (continuous strips, sashes, which can be embroidered with techniques such as painting, embossing, inlaying and weaving on ceramics, stone, fabric, metal) that were recovered in a fire layer in Slope Houses, is made of ivory. The frieze panels are separated from each other by columns with Corinthian caps, and female figures called Caryatites are placed between these columns. In addition, on both sides of the frieze, there are Caryatites larger than the examples in the middle.

Selcuk Ephesus Museum - Izmir

Selcuk Ephesus Museum – Izmir

On the frieze divided into three separate panels, the war preparations of Emperor Trajan and scenes from the war are observed. The emperor is depicted on a horse on the left panel, and on the left side of the Roman soldiers making preparations for war, walking to the right.

Selcuk Ephesus Museum - Izmir

Selcuk Ephesus Museum – Izmir

In the right-hand panel, Eastern soldiers, distinguished from Roman soldiers by their hairstyles and clothing, are preparing for battle.

Selcuk Ephesus Museum - Izmir

Selcuk Ephesus Museum – Izmir

Scenes of domestic life are seen on separate plates belonging to the frieze. High and low relief figures on the same panel are used together to add depth to the work. It is thought that the work belongs to a door lintel or was used for decorative purposes in a piece of furniture. The work has reached its present state after a long restoration process.

Dolphin Eros Statuette

Cupid Eros is seen on a dolphin. A well-preserved group of bronze artifacts, the dolphin is seen floating with its tail raised.

Selcuk Ephesus Museum - Izmir

Selcuk Ephesus Museum – Izmir

This feature of the dolphin with holes in its eyes and mouth indicates that the sculpture group belongs to a fountain. While Eros is holding the dolphin’s fin with his left hand, he is also holding an object with his right hand that he has raised. Eros’ hair, which has a childlike expression on his face, is gathered on the top. The work, located on Curetes Street, belongs to the 2nd century AD. The figure of Eros riding a dolphin is a common composition in the Hellenistic and Roman periods. Similar examples of this work made of marble and terracotta are also available in the mentioned periods.

Marcus Aurelius

The Roman Emperor and Stoic philosopher Marcus Aurelius was crafted with fine craftsmanship from quality white marble. The wrinkles on the forehead of the emperor, dressed in Paludamentum, fastened with a fibula on his right shoulder, are evident.

Selcuk Ephesus Museum - Izmir

Selcuk Ephesus Museum – Izmir

The back of the work is left unprocessed. The work in the Slope Houses Hall belongs to the Roman Period, 2nd century AD.

Hunter Artemis Statue

The statue, which was found in the niche in the Socrates Room in the Hillside Houses, is exhibited in the same place in the area that is animated in the museum. Unlike Artemis of Ephesus, the symbol of fertility and fertility, which continues the tradition of the mother goddess, the work depicts the image of the goddess, Artemis the Hunter, which was mostly adopted in Athens.

Selcuk Ephesus Museum - Izmir

Selcuk Ephesus Museum – Izmir

The left hand and thumb of the right hand of the statue made of high quality white marble are broken and missing. Wearing a thin and almost body-fitting dress, Artemis’ left leg is the carrier, and her right leg is slightly back and is on the ground with her fingertips. Below is a pedestal consisting of a separate piece.

The Resting Warrior

The marble work is a young warrior depicted nude in a half-reclining position. The body weight of the statue is given to the left arm resting on a rock. The warrior, whose wavy hair is tied with a band over his forehead, has a calm expression on his face.

Selcuk Ephesus Museum - Izmir

Selcuk Ephesus Museum – Izmir

He is seen holding a shield in his arm and a sword in his hand. While the left leg is bent backwards at the knee, the right leg is bent at the knee and extended forward. The artifact was found during excavations at the Polio Fountain.

Great Artemis Statue

The work, which is a Roman period copy of the cult statue found in the Temple of Artemis, exhibits features integrated with Kybele, the mother goddess of Anatolia since prehistoric times. The colossal (large size) statue found in the Prytaneum in Ephesus carries all the features of Artemis of Ephesus. The high polos (cylindrical headdress) on its head is in the form of a temple and has three floors. At the top, three Ionic Temples with four columns on their façades; arch-bearing sphinxes and griffins are seen below. The temples above show the goddess’ dominance over all the temples of the city.

Selcuk Ephesus Museum - Izmir

Selcuk Ephesus Museum – Izmir

There are five lion and bull griffins on both sides of the Moon behind the head. In this way, it is thought that the lions standing on either side of Cybele are placed on the shoulders by getting smaller. The eyes of the statue are large and the facial features are full. She has earrings in her ears, a pearl necklace on her neck, and four rows of bumps under her breast. These lumps are thought to be breasts, eggs, and bull testicles. The common point of these theses is that they are about fertility and fertility. At the waist of Artemis, there is a four-piece rosette and a thin belt adorned with bee motifs, the symbol of Ephesus. The skirt is divided into rectangles by lines perpendicular to the transverse and longitudinal. Figures such as lion, ram, deer, griffin and bee are placed inside each rectangle. The statue is depicted looking far away. The feet of the statue are adjacent to each other, while the arms are extended forward.

Beautiful Artemis Statue

The Artemis statue made of white marble has a quality and detailed workmanship. The work was made in the Roman Period, inspired by the cult statue found in the Archaic Period Ephesus Artemis Temple. The statue is one of the most striking works of the Ephesus Museum.

Selcuk Ephesus Museum - Izmir

Selcuk Ephesus Museum – Izmir

It is one of the best examples showing that Artemis is the goddess of fertility and dominion over animals. Standing on a rectangular pedestal, the feet of the goddess are adjacent to each other, her body is motionless and her arms are extended forward by bending at the elbow. At the head of Artemis is the polos; but the upper part of the polo was not recovered. On both sides of the head, there are animal figures in relief on the part belonging to the polo. A garland (a wreath-shaped decoration made of leaves and flowers hung between two points) is depicted on the chest, and a zodiac sign is depicted on the inside of the garland. Egg-shaped oval relief objects side by side and one under the other on the chest draw attention. There are different opinions about what these objects are. There are many different animal figures made in relief on the goddess’s lower waist and on her dress that tightly wraps her body. On both sides of Artemis, there is a stag figure that is mostly depicted together. The deer’s head and part of its legs are broken. A beehive is seen in front of both deer.

Sarcophagus of the Moses

The lid of the sarcophagus on the west of Vedius Gymnasium resembles a roof. Eros figures are placed on the acroteres of the roof (statues and ornaments placed on the top and two corners of the triangular pediment of an ancient building. Acroteres are seen in all architectural structures and sarcophagi that imitate the temple appearance.). On the sarcophagus, in front and on its sides, the muses, the guardians of art and sciences, are depicted in columns and arches. On the left Euterpe stands with his double flute; next to him is Clio, the muse of the discipline of history. The female figure in the middle probably depicts the deceased. The muse on his right, depicted with his kithara (stringed, Ancient Greek musical instrument/instrument), is Calliope, and the other muse with a lyre in his hand is Erato.

Selcuk Ephesus Museum - Izmir

Selcuk Ephesus Museum – Izmir

On one side of the sarcophagus are the muses Melpomene and Thalia, representing tragedy and comedy. On the other side, the astronomy muse Urania, holding a globe in her hand, and another muse, thought to be Terpischore, the dance muse, or Polymnia, the pantomime muse, is depicted with her scepter next to her. The inscriptions and cross figures on the lid of the sarcophagus indicate that the artifact was also used in the Byzantine Period.

Egyptian Priest

The statue, made of bronze and standing on a rectangular pedestal, has a typical Archaic stance. The left foot is thrown forward, the arms are parallel to the body, and there is an object in the left hand of the statue. The eyes of the hairless figure are slanted and a stern expression is seen on his face. A panther skin extends over the left shoulder towards the waist, and a band with hieroglyphic writing coming out of the panther’s head continues towards the back.

Selcuk Ephesus Museum - Izmir

Selcuk Ephesus Museum – Izmir

The hieroglyphic writing on the end of the skirt that ends above the knee draws attention. In hieroglyphic writing, the god served by the priest and the king who was in power in Egypt at the time the statue was made are indicated. The work is of great importance in terms of showing the relationship of Ephesus with Egypt.

Source: İzmir Provincial Directorate of Culture and Tourism, Ephesus Museum