EPHESUS: Ancient city of Greece and then Rome. For its day, a major population center, eventually reaching a huge 250,000 which made it one of the largest cities in the Mediterranean. As a gathering spot for philosophers, engineers (of the time), leaders (Anthony and Cleopatra lived there briefly while waiting to go to war), armies, and traders, it was critically dependent on the traders, sailors, and farmers for its economic foundations. It is estimated that the area was first populated around 6,000 B.C. The Greeks (not really the Greeks because there was no “Greece” yet—but the Spartans, Athenians, etc.) built a major city on the site around 1,000 B.C. Wars, wars, and more wars (Persians, Ionians, etc., then internal wars) increased its strategic importance as a military post and as a place to provide security for the trading. Then the Romans really elevated the importance, size, and architecture of the city. Christians and gladiators were used for entertainment and there are graveyards where their remains sleep. Of course, with each successive wave of wars, Romans, Christians, etc., things were torn down, burned, and each succeeding group built its own monuments on top of the old. Earthquakes and more wars led to its decline around 600 A.D. After being long forgotten, locals began dismembering the buildings and using the materials in their own roads, homes, etc. Long forgotten and deeply buried in centuries of soil deposition, today they estimate that it is only about 15% re-discovered.

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