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Austrian archaeologists have taken a keen interest in Ephesus and have been working tirelessly to excavate the site for several decades now. The Museum of Ephesus displays all the important artefacts that have been recovered from the digging after the Second World War. Prior to the World War, these archaeologists retrieved the items they recovered from the site and sent them to Austria to be displayed at the world famous museum of Vienna.
Initially the Ephesus Museum was located inside a small building, but as the number of antiquities being retrieved began to grow, the museum was enlarged to accommodate all these items. The present day museum of Ephesus was constructed in 1979 and now includes displays for arts obtained during the digging at the numerous sites within the Ephesus city. Frescos obtained from the temple and the library now adorn the walls of the museum and the entire collection obtained from the site is displayed in the seven large halls that the museum has. The most famous objects in the museum include the head of Medusa and Dionysos, which are incredible mosaics that have been completely restored. They draw all eyes towards them and have become a hit among the tourists who visit the museum. The marble bust of Socrates is startling piece of work and has been displayed in a number of museums all over the world. It now resides at the Ephesus museum and is one its most renowned pieces. Countless small statues of the various Greek gods have been recovered from the excavation and they have been restored and now adorn the museum building.
Several busts of important rulers from the many dynasties that ruled Ephesus are also displayed at the museum. Prominent among these are the busts of Emperor Tiberius and his wife Livia. The museum also holds a smaller statue of Goddess Artemis which has been beautifully crafted. The hall features art mainly from the Roman era and the hall next to it contains even more priceless antiquities. The Museum of Ephesus has arranged the treasures recovered from the once lost city and has arranged them in its seven large halls after dividing them based on several different criteria. The hall next to this one houses a fountain that was recovered from the site and it is kept as the centre piece for this hall. The hall also contains several busts and smaller statues, the chief among them being the head of Zeus, whose daughter Artemis is, and a statue of Aphrodite the Greek goddess of love and passion. From the site of the city Aphrodisias, a small statue of a resting warrior is clearly visible next to these busts and it is surrounded from the other side by a group of statues featuring Odysseus and his good friend Polyphemos. The group of statues depicts a scene from folk lore where Odysseus is mourning the loss of his friends who have been slain by a giant. The next setting has Odysseus approaching the giant with a stake to gouge his eyes out. Directly opposite this statue group, statues of the Fountain of Trajan are kept. The famed statues of a youthful Dionysus in a lying down position are on the display right next to the fountain and are dated back to 200 A.D.
The digging has been going on at Ephesus for over a hundred years and started in the 1860s when a British man named Cook accidentally came across parts of the site.
A hall has been specially reserved for displaying all the items that have been recently discovered. A lot of crosses and candles have been recovered from the Byzantine era and they are on display in this hall along with theatrical masks and the bust of the great king Marcus Aurelius. The hall also has an amazing frieze on display that shows the story of Emperor Trajan fighting the many barbarians that kept attacking Ephesus. There are many more friezes that are displayed prominently in this hall and the chief among them is a high relief where Emperor Trajan can clearly be seen. Many friezes have been brought to the museum that depict the beautiful Pollio Fountain. A huge sarcophagus was obtained from Belevi Mausoleum which is believed to belong to the last of the great Roman kings, Antiochos Theos the second. The entire mausoleum was removed and brought to the museum and at the original site only a pedestal remains.
The next hall is sometime called the tomb finding hall because it mostly houses memorial items collected from graves and cemeteries. There were also some dishes that were recovered during the fourteen hundred BC from the St. Jean site and they featured a uniquely Mycenaean design. They too are on display at the museum right next to the many artefacts recovered from the cavern of the Seven Sleepers. The centre of this hall is dedicated to a sarcophagus that was brought in from the Ephesus Agora. The Ciasomenae type design of the artefact confounds researchers and historians. The sarcophagus was buried original along with several smaller items, including some antiquities made from baked soils, and these items are now part of the central display. A statue of Cybele, the patron goddess of Anatolia and the mother to the city is also found in this hall. Olympia was the progeny of Diokles and her statue is a part of the collection on display in this hall.
There is also a hall solely dedicated to items recovered from Artemis temple. Two statues of goddess Artemis were found during excavation at the site of the temple. They are now known as "the Beautiful Artemis" and "the Great Artemis" and they both are a major point of attraction for tourists who travel to Ephesus form every corner of the world for a chance to see the city and its priceless treasures. The beautiful Artemis is an ode to the goddess of fertility and depicts Artemis as a woman with multiple breasts. All kinds of material havebeen used formaking hese statues and frescos and everything from metals like bronze and gold to precious items like ivory have been used for making these priceless antiquities.
The Ephesus Museum tries to track the passing of the city from one ruler to another and has dedicated a hall to this task. Busts, painting and frescos o these kings have been arranged in chronological order. The very first statue in this hall belongs to Consul Stephanos and he is surrounded by several painting of other noted figures of the city. This hall is the last stop on the tour of the Ephesus Museum and from here the travellers can easily exit using the door next to this hall.