Uncovering ancient history in Ephesus

(Last Updated On: February 5, 2012)
Ancient ruins in Ephesus

This was one of the best sites I have ever been to and a definite highlight of my tour in Turkey. The Roman ruins of Ephesus were truly amazing. Exploring the area gives one a true sense of how the Romans lived all those years ago and the incredible things they accomplished long before handy modern comforts like electricity and modern plumbing. It’s truly fascinating to see how they constructed roman baths, how each house had running water, and how they even developed a basic under-floor heating system! I was impressed, though I have to say I’m glad all I have to do is flick a switch to heat my bathroom up when things get chilly. But how much has civilization really progressed since then?

Visiting Ephesus makes it a lot easier to imagine how a Roman city might have operated thousands of years ago. Each member of my group was equally impressed; most conceded that it was easily one of the best sites they had visited. The Library of Celcus was amazing too, just the sheer size of the ruin is impressive. Built in honor of Tiberius Julius Celsus Polemaeanus, the library was completed in 135 AD by his son, Gaius Julius Aquila. Built to house thousands of important scrolls and documents, the library was also a tomb for Celsus; the unusual choice to use a library as a tomb made this a great honour for Celsus. I wonder how people might view our libraries in the future, especially now that most information is loaded up online before it’s printed. Will the tourists of the future have anything to look at other than plastic boxes filled with wires and microchips? Maybe there’s something to be said for writing things down.

Whatever future tourists may think of us as bloggers, tweeters and YouTube film-makers, a trip to Ephesus is a great day out, especially for the history buffs out there.

– Alex Gonsalves

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