Ephesos 2019

The Aqueduct in Selçuk

Another highlight of the first project year was certainly the three week field campaign in July 2019 in Ephesos with Vera Hofmann, Pedro Gonçalves and Lilli Zabrana being present the same time. Lilli Zabrana and Vera Hofmann focused their work on the Aqueduct in Selçuk which was most likely built in the frame of a large construction program with the Justinian St. Johns Basilica at Ayasoluk in the 6.th Century AD.

The working hypothesis implied that the marble piers of this aqueduct were constructed with recycled marble blocks from the nearby Artemision, since after the pagan sanctuary was abandoned the precious marble blocks were on a large scale dismantled and reused for building the St. Johns Basilica and associated buildings like the aqueduct. Large quantities of inscriptions, originally set up within the Artemision revealed by their content, were equally secondary used as building material at that time.

The 57 examined pillars of the Selçuk Aqueduct are constructed entirely of marble spolias below their brick arches. All inscriptions as well as all architectural blocks which could be assigned by comparison to a certain building were mapped and documented. Thirteen architectural blocks belonging to the later temple were identified which supports the initial hypothesis without doubt.
A surprising discovery was furthermore to recognize 21 blocks in total belonging to the Doric Building or Doric halls around the temple which were documented at the British Museum in May 2019.

The epigraphical analysis supports these results. Vera Hofmann examined 42 of the known 69 inscription reused within the pillars for the aquaeduct in Selçuk. The overwhelming majority consists of bases for statues with inscriptions of roman imperial time for emperors, their family members and highest officials. In one case the installation within the temenos is proved through a matching fragment in the British Museum, found by J.T. Wood within the sanctuary.

The very successful Ephesos campaign in the year 2019 provided us with a statistical base to argue that these marble blocks were most likely systematically taken from the temple and the surrounding buildings within the temenos which obviously was at the time of Justinian a large quarry where stonemasons reworked all marble blocks left from the former sanctuary.

Field Survey

Pedro Lourenço Gonçalves undertook various field surveys in the Artemision, Selçuk and surrounding areas to observe and acknowledge local topography, land use, hydrology and geomorphology during his two week stay in Ephesos. In this time no borehole drillings were done on site, since it was decided to prepare carefully the determination of specific location and strategy for the borehole drilling works in 2020.