Anthropology 2100 Lecture 8: Pompeii and Ephesus Readings
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Pompeii and Ephesus Readings
Article: Turkish government shuts down important archaeological dig, apparently to punish
• A major archaeological project in Turkey that involves about 200 researchers has been
shut down early, an apparent victim of international politics
• The decision was reportedly made by Turkey’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs. No reason
for the closure was given
• Ephesus was founded by Greek colonists as a port on the Aegean Sea in the 1st century
B.C.E., then expanded by the Romans.
• the site of research for more than 140 years
• 1869, a U.K. architect discovered the ruins of the Temple of Artemis, one of the seven
wonders of the ancient world.
Article: Tourists Flock to Ancient City of Ephesus.
• The ancient city of Ephesus located in the western province of İzmir was visited by some
800,000 tourists in the first six months of 2014
• the largest increase in revenue was enjoyed by the acropolis of Pergamon (Bergama),
which was added to UNESCO’s World Heritage list in June
• A major center of learning in the ancient world, the acropolis of Pergamon – also located
in the province of İzmir – received 109,000 tourists in the first half of the year, raising the
revenue received by museums in the area by 106 percent.
• Revenue from these historic sites are used to improve and restore the sites themselves
• The ancient city of Ephesus was added to UNESCO’s temporary list of world heritage
sites in 2000.
Article: Tourists in the millions are "wearing out" Pompeii.
• the five towns of Cinque Terre announced that they could no longer cope with the
barrage of tourists
• tourist numbers will be capped and once the daily limit is reached, no more people will
be allowed into the Unesco site.
• Pompeii too is struggling from the high numbers of visitors traipsing round the ancient
• Cruise-tourists are wearing out the ruins of Pompeii. The entrance steps of the Temple
of Apollo, in particular, have been ruined by the influx of tourists,
• Cruise tourists have a limited visiting time
• Herculaneum receives 300,000 visits annually; the Villa Poppea only 30,000." By
contrast, around 3 million tourists set foot in Pompeii every year.
• High numbers of tourists concentrated in a single place does cause damage, but the way
to avoid that is to redirect the itineraries within Pompeii and promote different parts of
the site, such as the exhibitions and less-visited areas,
Roman provincial cities
• “Hunting, bathing, having fun, laughing – That is living”. This phrase (in Latin) was
discovered scratched onto the paving of the forum of Thamugadi, a Roman city in
• expressed their view of the ideal life
o no city better symbol- ized the achievements of Greek culture than Athens.
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o the city maintained its reputation as an intellectual center for many centuries, even
after the crippling attack in 267 of the Herulians, a Germanic tribe from eastern
Europe. The end of its long tradition finally came in 529, when the Byzantine
emperor Justinian closed its famous philosophical schools.
o When a Roman emperor wished to emphasize his philhellenism, he would donate
a magnificent new monument to Athens
o The two emperors who drew most upon Greek models for urban architecture were
Augustus and Hadrian. Indeed, they both made gifts to Athens
o Hadrian visited Athens in 133; in honor of his trip, he built a monumental gate
▪ The gateway combines Roman and Greek forms: a Roman arch below, but
Greek post-and-lintel forms in the upper tier.
▪ It marks the boundary between the established earlier Greek city and the
sector newly developed by the Romans, enclosed in an extension of the
o Athens had now become an economic backwater, a minor town important only for
• EPHESUS AND PERGAMON
o The vital centers of the Greek areas of the Roman Empire lay not on the Greek
peninsula, but further east
o Ephesus, however, and much of Pergamon have been the objects of rewarding
archaeological excavations, thanks to shifts in settlement location from ancient to
medieval and modern times that have made the ancient remains easier to reach.
o Ephesus was the capital of the Roman province of Asia, with a large population
estimated at 250,000. Occupied since the Bronze Age, it was an important Greek
and then Roman city, internationally famous for its Temple of Artemis and
blessed with good harbor facilities.
o In late Roman times, its commercial and political prominence came to an end, as
silting from the Cayster River filled the harbor. Today the Roman ruins lie several
kilometers from the Aegean coastline
o Excavation projects at large Greco-Roman sites in Turkey have been encouraged
by the gov- ernment to restore selected buildings. The Austrian excavators at
Ephesus are now focusing on the hillside houses
o This library was built in 110 by Gaulius Julius Aquila in honor of his father,
Gaius Julius Celsus Polemaenus
▪ Its beautiful fac
̧ade is decorated with projections and niches that recall the
stage buildings of Roman theaters.
▪ A single interior room originally was equipped with three stories of
galleries for the storage of manuscripts. Celsus himself was buried in a
basement chamber, in a lead coffin placed inside a marble sarcophagus,
found in situ but not opened. It was rare for an individual to be buried
inside the city limits, and is a mark of Celsus’s distinction.
o In the eastern Mediterranean, local building traditions were hardly changed by the
arrival of the Romans. Cut stone was still favored, whereas the concrete and brick
constructions typical in Italy and the central and western Mediterranean were
o The Temple of Serapis, or the Temple of the Egyptian Gods, at Pergamon is quite
different. Known today as the Red Hall (Kızıl Avlu, in Turkish), this building complex
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lies at the base of the acropolis hill, on flat ground. The Red Hall is made of baked bricks
and concrete, an unusual choice in Roman Asia Minor. Massive, the building rose two
▪ The identification of the Red Hall as a temple for Egyptian gods is not certain.
However, several striking features make this likely. The complex is extremely
large. The main building measures 60m × 26m. It is flanked by round towers
with a smaller court in front of each. In front of this three-part structure lies a
huge court (ca. 200m × 100m), today mostly covered by modern buildings
o Royal patronage has proved an important factor in the embellishment of towns,
likewise the interest of wealthy benefactors, such as Herodes Atticus. Almost
always these patrons were men.
o on the south coast of Asia Minor, where the most famous benefactor was a
woman, Plancia Magna
o Perge lies a few kilometers inland from the port town of Attaleia (today’s
Antalya) focusing on a low flat hill, the sort of forma- tion much appreciated in
o A wall surrounded the town, built by the Seleucids in the third century BC,
o The city is divided by crossing streets into four unequal areas
o The main north– south street, porticoed on both sides and with a stone-lined
watercourse down the middle, runs from an elaborate nymphaeum (fountain
building) at the base of the acropolis
o Palmyra, the “place of palms,” the Roman version of Tadmor, the old Semitic
name, is located at an oasis in the Syrian desert
o the city’s great prosperity and most surviving architecture date from the late
Hellenistic period to the late third century AD
o in the second and third centuries, Pal- myra grew rich from long-distance caravan
trade, from its central position on an east–west trade route between the
Mediterranean coast and the Euphrates River and Mesopotamia.
o Palmyra is an extremely evocative site. The warm colored, intricately carved
classical architec- ture of this abandoned oasis city spreads out in the desert sands
at the foot of a bare mountain
o From the seventeenth century, western travelers began to visit and write about the
ruins. Systematic exploration began in the late nineteenth century with a Russian
team; German, French, Swiss, Polish, and Syrian researchers have followed.
o The major temple at Palmyra was consecrated to the Semitic god Bel.
o the temple follows the Classical tradition. It lies inside a large precinct lined by
porticoes. It is rectangular, oriented north–south, and surrounded by a colonnade
of the typical Roman sort. Inside the colonnade, the exterior north and south walls
of the cella are decorated with attached Ionic columns.
o Stone beams connecting the top of the cella walls with the outer colonnade, the
supports for the roofing, were decorated with relief sculpture
o Burials were made in towers solidly built of stone masonry and located in the
desert west of the city.
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