AUSTRIA (2020)- 125 Years of Excavations in Ephesus

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The Ancient Metropolis

The Austrian Archaeological Institute has been carrying out research in the ancient city of Ephesus for more than 725 years. Austrian Post is congratulating it with a commemorative stamp showing a statue of the goddess Artemis from the Temple of Ephesus, one of the wonders of the world.

Located on the west coast of Turkey, Ephesus has been inhabited since the 7th millennium BC. Having been a Greek settlement since the 11th century BC, from 133 BC the city became part of the Roman Empire and the seat of the governor of the Roman province of Asia.

Ephesus remained an important political and economic centre right through until Late Antiquity. It subsequently became part of the Byzantine Empire until it was conquered by the Turks in 1304. It has been on the UNESCO World Cultural Heritage List since 2015.

Excavation work was started in 1863 when the English railway engineer 2. T. Wood began his search for the Temple of Artemis, one of the seven wonders of the ancient world. In 1895 the Austrian archaeologist Otto Benndorf was able to begin investigating the city. Starting with the Temple of Artemis, the archaeologists gradually exposed various districts of the ancient city. The successful excavations resulted in the foundation of the Austrian Archaeological Institute (OeAl) in 1898, which has been a research institution of the Austrian Academy of Sciences since 2016. The excavations in Ephesus are today still led by the OeAl assisted by national and international research institutions.

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