2012 April 4 – Day 24 – Kusadasi, Turkey (Day 2) (Part 3)

The final part of our day-long tour in Ephesus took us to the amazing Terrace Houses located on a hillside above Curetes Street.  Work on excavating these houses began in 1960 and archaeological work is ongoing every year.  The exposed shops and houses were being affected by the elements so a very airy roof was built over the six houses excavated so far.  Glass-floored platforms let you see everything as you walk through the houses and up the three different terrace levels The first thing we saw after entering the Terrace Houses was the Marble Hall which archaeologists hope to completely restore by putting 120,000 pieces of broken marble back together.  Ahmet, our guide, asked us what was the strongest material in the world?  His answer was silk.  He said that the slabs of marble put onto the walls were cut into such thin slices using silk. Twisted strands of silk-worm silk, when held taut and rubbed back and forth across stone, wet, is apparently strong enough and durable enough to cut through marble as if it was cheese.  It takes a lot longer than slicing up a block of cheese, but it’s just as effective.  How clever is that?                 You better like jigsaw puzzles to work in here.

On this map, the Terrace Houses are under the white roof in the lower center of the photo, at the end of Curetes Street. It is incredible how rich the colours still are on the wall designs.  They were painted over 2000 years ago.  I bet our modern paints wouldn’t keep that well. The paintings on the walls are frescoes – water colour paintings made on wet plaster.  The paint soaks into the plaster as it dries and becomes very permanent. The two photos above are one of the bathroom.  There was running water, a heated floor and a sewer system.  From the top terrace of the houses looking down Marble Street. From the Terrace Houses we continued our tour of Ephesus, going down Marble Street, past the Library of Celsus, to the Grand Theater and out the Main Entrance.  Blog to be continued…

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