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Ephesus Harbor street (Arkadiane)

Ephesus Harbor street (Arkadiane)

The harbor Street extends from the theater to the harbor. It was paved in Hellenistic times; Arcadius (395-408 CE), the son of the eastern emperor Theodosius I, later remodeled it. As a result, the harbor Street was renamed the Arkadiane.

The Street is 530 meters long and 11 meters wide. It is paved with slabs of marble; on both sides stood colonnaded galleries with rnosaic floors, behind which were rows of shops. The drainage channels beneath the marble pavement of the Street emptied into the sea. Beneath the shops, there were also large water channels.

Ornate triumphal arches stood on both ends of the Street; only the foundation walls of these are visible today.

Half-way down the Street, four columns were erected in the fifth century, on which the four statues of the Evangelists probably önce stood. The column bases are stili in their original locations.
The harbor Street is the last segment of the royal highway that led here from Central Anatolia. For those traveling by sea, the Arkadiane was an important point of departure for Asia Minör. Many emperors and important figures were welcomed on this Street of reception. It was also a favorite place for outings by the Ephesians. An inscription found during excavations here telis us that the Arkadiane was lit up at night. Especially during festivals and other celebrations, people put up torches, by which the city appeared lively and as bright as day. We know from ancient sources that only a few cities could afford to be lit at night. Ephesus, along with Rome and Antioch, is among them.

Game boards, with animal and human shapes, have been scratched into the surface of the marble pavement for children, but also for adults. There is a charming inscription on one of the game boards intended for adults. The game board is divided into thirty-six sections, each of which is idcntified by a letter. When read together, the letters form this sentence in ancient Greek: “This game board brings great pleasure in the loss of money.”