August of 2020 brought the conversion of yet another museum (and previously a historical Church of the Holy Saviour in Chora) into a mosque in Turkey's biggest city, Istanbul. The archaeological excavations revealed a Byzantine granary in the ancient city of Amorium and a statue in Perge, believed to have belonged to a female benefactor from one of the aristocratic families of this ancient city. Moreover, the excavation teams reached the inner walls of a memorial tomb of the ancient Greek didactic poet Aratus in Soli (Pompeiopolis) and a Roman bathhouse and gymnasium in Smyrna.
This site consists of three parallel longhouses of the megaron type, dating back to the period of 2550 BC-2300 BCE. The fortifications protected these manor houses, but there was also a lower city outside the walls. Troy II consisted of seven layers of settlement, lying one on the other. In comparison to Troy I, Troy II was an extensive settlement, and the inhabitants of the upper city enjoyed many luxuries, such as silver, gold, and amber jewellery, found during the excavations of Schliemann. They also knew how to use a potter's wheel to produce beautifully decorated ceramics.
The Commercial (Lower) Agora of Ephesus was linked to the harbour by the Arcadiane, and stood close to its junction with the Marble Street, just to the south-west of the theatre. With an almost square plan, the Tetragonos Agora - whose ancient name, meaning the Square Market, has been confirmed by the inscriptions - was built for commercial purposes. It had impressive dimensions as its sides were 111 meters long. The Commercial Agora had three main gates, enabling access from the north onto Harbour Street, the south-east, and the west. The most impressive and best-preserved of these gates is the so-called Gate of Mazaeus and Mithridates on the south-eastern side, very close to the Celsus Library.
The name of this stop - Troy I - means that you are now standing in the place where the oldest traces of human settlement within the Hisarlık Mound have been found. The history of the city dates back to the Early Bronze Age, i.e. around the year 3000 BCE, when the first settlement was established here. It was a small village, built on terraces of the hill, and consisting of 20 tiny rectangular houses. They were erected from interconnected blocks of stone and bricks.
A temple-like monument, known as the Temple of Hadrian, stands in front of the Scholastica Baths, facing the Curetes Street. When it was discovered 1956 and subsequently re-erected in the following two years, it was commonly assumed that it really was the Temple of Emperor Hadrian, a "neocorate temple" of official worship of the Roman emperor. The permission to build such a temple in Ephesus was granted by Hadrian between 130 and 132 CE, and the archaeologists eagerly identified the building on Curetes Street as such.