Ephesus is considered one of the great outdoor museums of Turkey, in fact perhaps of the world. It is located on the south of Izmir’s Selcuk county. The links of Ephesus with the Amazons and the myths had survived throughout history. So, there was a competition for statue of an Amazon for the Temple of Artemis to be made by the famous sculptors in the 5th century B.C.. The town of Apasas under the rule of Ahhiyava Kingdom mentioned in the written records of the Hittites of the 14th and 13th centuries B.C. is Ephesus. The linguists accept that the word Ephesus was derived from Apasas. An important number of the findings revealed by the excavations carried on at southern slopes of Ayasuluk (Selcuk) castle by the Ephesus Museum since 1990 are dated to second millennium B.C.. Therefore, we can surely say that Apasas was founded on the Ayasuluk Hill. The findings from this place are exhibited in the Ephesus Museum.
After the fall of Troy and ensuing looting, the Thracians started migrating south. They joined the other Thracian groups who came from the sea and settled in Western Anatolia, forming colonies. The written Egyptian sources of the 12th century, mention the destruction of cities during these migrations, regions called Aeolis and Ionia appeared on the map. The region of Ionia where Ephesus is located is referred to as “Yavan” in the Bible, “Yavnai” in the Assyrian inscriptions and as “Yauna” in the Persian inscriptions. To Ensure their security, the immigrants preferred to settle on islands near the coast and on peninsulas. The colonization of Ephesus, as in the other Ionian cities, was completed in the 10th century B.C. Strabo and Pausanians tell the story of the settlement: Androklos, son of Kodros ( the King of Athens), and his friends who were about to migrate to Anatolia, could not decide on the location of the new city they were going to establish . Ephesus They consulted the oracle of Apollo, which told them to establish their new city at the location which would be indicated by fish and a boar. Androklos and his friends who came to the region wanted to cook fish, but the fish they were frying jumped off the pan, scattering flames that set the dry bushes on fire. A boar ran out of the burning bushes and Androklos started to chase the boar, caught it and killed it. Convinced that the prophesy of the oracle had come true, Androklos and his friends established their new city in this location. And Ephesus existed here for 400 years and was ruled by Androklos and his descendents. When Androklos died during a war with the Carians he was buried near the Magnesia Gate and heroon ( a shrine dedicated to a deified person) was built on the site.
Ephesus was attacked by the Cimmerians in the 7th century BC but got back onto its feet again soon afterwards. The 6th century BC brought a prosperous period for Ephesus. Later, Ephesus came under the rule of the Lydians and then under the Perisans. In 334 BC, Alexander the Great captured Ephesus, which offered no resistance. The death of Alexander brought dark days to Ephesus, which was ruled in 287 BC by Lysimachos. Most of the works of art seen today came into being during this period. Later on Ephesus came under the sovereignty of Rome, and Emperor Augustus declared Ephesus a metropolis. In the year 262 AD Ephesus was attacked and destroyed by the Goths and after this, it never regained its previous importance.
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