Houses on the Slope (Terrace Houses)

These were the houses of the wealthy of Ephesus, established on terraces on the slope of Mount Bülbül. They were built in peristle, adjacent to each other, of approximately the same size, each consisting of two flats, on three terraces. Some of these houses covered an area of 900-950 m². The construction of these houses dates to the 1st century B.C. from the finds made during excavations. However after the restorations and repairs that were made after the earthquakes in 262 and 369-370 A.D., it is known that the houses, most of which were of two-storey, were inhabited until the 7th century A.D. The entrances to these houses were from narrow paths with stairs. There was an inner court in the middle of the houses, which was surrounded by columns in a peristly and this court constituted the center of these houses. There was a covered gallery area with mosaic floors around this court and all romms were lined around this area, with the doors opened onto thiz gallery. The rooms were the dining room, the bedroom, the guestroom, the bath, the lavatory, the kitchen and the slave room. All of these rooms obtained their light from this central courtyard. The hypocaust system (underfloor heating) ensured many rooms were centrally heated and this heating system was also installed on the second floors of these houses. The clean water and the sewage pipes of the baths, fountains and lavatories(Latrina)in the houses were freely used as public service. Moreover, water requirements were provided for by the wells cisterns dug in the bedrock. The sewage pipes under the stairs were linked to the main sewer pipes in Kuretes Street. The most important room in residence No.1 is the theater room, with its walls decorated with depictios from the comedies of Menandros and the tragedies of Euripides. There is mythological scene(the fight between Hercules and Achilles)in front of an architectural adorment on the upper side of the northern wall. The main center of residence No.2 is the Rhodian 9 columns peristyle court dating from the Late Empire period. In the vault of the tablinum in the South, there is an excellent glass mosaic depicting Dionysus and Ariadne in paradise. In the pedestal mosaic of the gallery in front, mythological sea creatures are depicted (a Nereid mounting a seahorse of Triton). The most important room in residence No.3 has depictions of the 9 Muses, and of Sappho and Apollo. Furthermore, the portraits, on the east wall of the inner court, depicting the renowed philosophers of the period, are of great importance for the history of art. In residence No.4 are depictions of Socrates (today displayed in the Seljuk Museum of Ephesus) and the Muse Urania. By the door to the east section of the house are the frescoes belonging to the oldest period of decoration at Ephesus.

The changes brought about though the construction of the apse of the basilica on the lower terrace destroyed the balance of this residence. Also this stairs provide a connection to residence No.6 and it is thought that the owner of residence No.4 was also the owner of this northern adjacent house. Due to the wealth of the owner, it was thought that in the period between the 2nd and 3rd centuries A.D., that residence No.4 was used as the kitchen for residence No.6 Apart from the spaciousness of residence No.6, of 950m², the social, economic and religious duties and the home an Ephesian notable during the reign of Emperor Severus was revealed through the finds made in the excavation of this residence. It ıs understood to have been more important than the other residences on the slope, as there is an inscription which indicates its owner at the end of the 2nd centruy A.D. was C. Flavius Furius Aptus and it is known that Furis Aptus, a notable of Ephesus at least once at the end of the 2nd centruy A.D. had sponsored the Games held at Ephesus. This residence has a peristle court, thought to have been of two storeys. From this court one could enter the rooms in the West and North, a magnificent hall covered in marble on the South side, and the tunnel vaulted Private Basilica accessed from a small court with cross vault in the southwest. The importance to the home owner of the Dionysus cult is also reflected in the decorations inside the house and the subjects of the plaster relief in the vaults of a small room which opens to the main court in a basilica style. The thiasos carrying creatures of Dionysus are depicted on the vaulted ceillings, which are divided geometrically while the wedding of Dionysus and Ariadne among the Erotes is depicted on the stage by the pediment arch. Residece No.7, of 900 m² was connected at times to residence No.6 lying to its West. This residence built according to the traditional plan, is full of rooms having differing characteristics, all surrounding the center inner court. There are marble effigies of Emperor Augustus’ wife Livia and his sons, and Emperor Tiberius with a bronze statue of a snake(displayed in the Museum of Ephesus)in the peristyle exedra on the southern side.