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Fabulous exhibit, easily one of the highlights of our trip. Just opened around 2000; extra fee, but well worth it. They roofed over this set of luxury dwellings (dubbed Terrace House 2 by the archaeologists) and built stairways and glass-bottomed walkways that lead visitors on an Escheresque path through the ruins. Restorers are hard at work below. Freely adapted from the interpretive sign:

 

In the archaic period (7th to 6th century BCE), this flanking hillside was used as a cemetery. In Hellenistic times (c. 200 BCE), it was extensively terraced and also saw less-structured development. In the Roman period, it was the high-rent district. This complex, built in early Roman Imperial times (c. 20 CE), was a luxury 4000-square-meter (43,000-square-foot) insula (multifamily dwelling) consisting of 7 two-storey townhouses.

 

Each house was organized around a peristyle courtyard, with richly decorated reception rooms downstairs. Upstairs (now lost) would have been even more luxurious rooms for banquets and entertaining. The houses had running water and private baths and toilets.

 

The houses were destroyed by earthquakes in 262-270 CE. A few rooms were used thereafter, but there was no significant rebuilding until the 5th century. In the 7th century Byzantine mills, smithies and potteries were built over the ruins.

 

Built before 138 CE in honor of a visit by the emperor, but rebuilt in the 4th century. The elaborate carving is just phenomenal.

The reconstructed facade of the Library of Celsus stands at the bottom of the Curetes Way. The louvered structure at the left encloses the spectacular Terrace Houses; the walkway in front of it is mosaic.

The reconstructed facade of the Library of Celsus stands at the bottom of this steep diagonal boulevard. The louvered structure at left shelters the spectacular Terrace Houses .

One of two very fine representations of the city's patron goddess in the museum; both had been carefully buried, presumably by adherents of the old religion seeking to protect them from marauding Christians. This exquisitely carved example is a little smaller than life size.

They were doing some sort of major restoration work, hence the construction crane.

Library of Celsus: one of the Four Virtues gracing the facade. This is Arete -- excellence or valor. I believe the caption translates to Arete of Celsus. The statue is a copy; the original is in the Ephesus Museum in Vienna (an Austrian team did the reconstruction, c. 1910; something this valuable couldn't be left in situ.)

Built before 138 CE in honor of a visit by the emperor, but rebuilt in the 4th century. The elaborate carving is just phenomenal.

Built before 138 CE in honor of a visit by the emperor, but rebuilt in the 4th century. The elaborate carving is just phenomenal.

 

Bust of Tyche on the keystone of the arch in front, Medusa on the tympanum behind.

Dedication in Latin, not Greek, from the freedmen of the Emperor.

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