Research at the site of Ephesos, which has taken place for over 125 years, is closely connected with an equally long tradition of building research. Archaeological building research in Ephesos was and remains a long-term undertaking, distinguished by various national and international research collaborations. The results of these studies can be found in recognised scientific editions.
The direct examination of individual monuments or related built structures with regard to their architecture, construction and usage is a fundamental task of the discipline of building research. Only first on this basis can investigations into longevity and history of deterioration, or into transformations of buildings, take place; these results enable the respective architecture and its historical importance to be elucidated and classified in a greater chronological and cultural context.
The current research programme places, in addition to individual investigations, overarching questions regarding historical building processes and fabrication techniques as well as the availability and processing of building materials, in the foreground. The goals are to explore the comprehensive, excavated Ephesian monuments and built urban structures, by means of their architecture, function and history of usage. The project also aims to explore these structures as expressions of their respective prevailing building traditions, conditions and technological developments, all of which alter over time.
Cooperative work with local institutions and initiatives for monument preservation, as well as with the OeAI professional department of restoration, characterise a majority of the building research projects at Ephesos. The close connection of building research with monument preservation is deployed in most cases parallel with the field research, or works together with it hand-in-hand. Currently, for example, the baptistery of the Church of St. Mary is being consolidated and is accompanied by building-research analyses.