Consular Reconstruction in Ephesus

Today’s Zaman has an interesting item:

One of the biggest ancient cities of the Mediterranean, Efes (Ephesus), is now undergoing important restoration. The marble hall of the palace-like house in which the city’s Roman consul lived in A.D. 275 has begun to be restored, putting back together 350-square-meter walls that are now broken into 120,000 pieces.

The deputy supervisor of the ongoing excavations in Efes, Sabine Ladstatter, said this method was used in Italy once before, but with such a large-scale assembly will be the first in history. Excavations have been ongoing in this city for 138 years. The hillside houses where the richest people lived are seen as the most exciting sites for excavation and restoration.

Considered to be the most important of the hillside houses, the palatial house of Gaius Flavius Furius Aptus, the city consul, is drawing attention as a focus of excavation and restoration projects. Its magnificent 178-square-meter salon, whose walls were clothed with marble, is witnessing a major restoration. The plan is to begin with the restoration of the salon’s walls.

The walls had sunk deep into the soil over time due to numerous earthquakes. The pieces of the walls have been found through the extensive excavations, which have been going on for years. Presently the there are about 120,000 pieces that are going to be used for the restoration, funded by Borusan Holding. Ladstatter said they believe those pieces constitute 90 percent of the walls. She added that they are going to use laser screening to find the proper piece to put into the proper place in the wall. “What we are going to do here now is an effort to complete a puzzle composed of 120,000 pieces,” Ladstatter summarized. The restoration is expected to cost $300,000.

I’ve been trying to figure out whether this is the so-called ‘Hillside House’ which was opened to the public some five years ago (I think it is). It was identified as belonging to a Furius Aptus, but he was apparently identified as a priest of Dionysus (not that he couldn’t also be consul, of course).

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