Ephesus Terrace Houses
As if the ancient Roman city of Ephesus wasn’t already amazing, there is a separate museum within the site that lovers of art and history must see. The recently excavated and partially restored Terrace Houses are located in the center of the site. Homes of some of the wealthiest citizens were built on this valuable real estate (ie. across from the ancient public toilets!) which is evident today in the extensive mosaic floors and frescoed walls. The artwork dates from the 1st century BC to the 7th century AD with several homes torn down and combined into a small basilica during the later part of that period. Remnants of indoor plumbing throughout the homes are also visible.
I was shocked how few people visited the Terrace Houses. If anything, it is a nice shaded and cool respite from the mid-day heat. There is a separate 15TL ($7.5) entrance fee but this is completely justifiable to see more intimate domestic spaces amid the marble and stone monuments of Ephesus.
I particularly liked one room which was decorated with images of the Muses. Below are Thalmia – Muse of Comedy and Euterpe – Muse of Lyric Poetry/Song. Besides the name labels, you can identify them from the comedic mask and two flutes they hold respectively. I’m not sure if the branching from the flutes is meant to illustrate music (since the Greek altos instrument didn’t have keys) but this imagery is consistent with other Roman iconography.