A Hellenistic Palace above the Theatre of Ephesos and its History until Late Antiquity

Above the Theatre of Ephesus and on a topographically prominent spot of the town there is a monumental town house that was partially revealed in 1929 and 1930. Although the architectural remains would suggest that the building had a special functional purpose within the city, very little is known of its construction history and the structural organisation of the surrounding area. The central focus of this PhD project is therefore to deepen knowledge of the structure, architectural design and structural transformation of the townhouse through systematic architectural surveys of the exposed parts of the building as well as selective excavations.

Beyond the individual monument, the analysis of the building within the urban ensemble will provide insights into the urbanism of Imperial Ephesus and the thus far little-investigated Hellenistic settlement phase. The basis for this is to develop new geophysical surveys and an architectural survey as well to evaluate older research on buildings in the immediate vicinity.

Synthesising these separate studies should on the one hand establish an overview of the spatial organisation of the district and its urban integration. On the other hand, it will analyse questions relating to both the construction and cultural-historical issues, in which ways technical, socio-political and economic factors shaped the urban space and influenced its individual elements. From this basis, the eventual question to be answered will be the extent to which the examined evidence justifies statements on the factual – and possibly also symbolic – significance of this area of the city.

Researcher: Christoph Baier