Geography of Ephesus

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Ephesus is located in Izmir in western Turkey about 19 kilometers from Kusadasi and 5 kilometeters from Pamucak beach.

Located on the western side of what is now Turkey, Ephesus would have enjoyed fertile soil and a typically Mediterranean climate. They citizens would have been accustomed to mild, wet winters and hot, dry summers. The mountains and coast gave the area a rich natural beauty.

At its height, some scholars estimate the number of people living at Ephesus may have reached 250,000. This population would have been due, in part, to the geographic advantages of the city’s location. A beach with a fresh water spring, provided ancient sailors with a valuable resource. The sheltered harbour in the middle of the Aegean trade routes combined with the land location at the western edge of a great land trade routes helped the city prosper.

The original site of the ancient city was likely on the shores of the Aegean, today located 8 kilometers away from the archeological site. Archeologists believe Ephesus was constructed on the mouth of Cayster Rivera that was dredged into a full harbor and carefully maintained.

However, the harbor that initially brought the city such success was also a major part of it moving and eventually being abandoned. By the middle Ages the harbor showed signs of neglect. The heavily silted water caused isolation from the trade that had helped the city flourish. It also brought malarial sickness. By the time of the Byzantine era the harbor would have been impassable. The town would also have been no stranger to earthquakes. Several of the town’s major monuments were rebuilt multiple times over the centuries due to earthquake damage. Eventually it was these two major natural obstacles that would lead to the city being abandoned.

Geography of ephesus.



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