Holding dramatically significant findings of the ancient city of Ephesus, Archaeological Museum is situated in Selcuk district. In the concerning city, the works of art dug up between 1867-1905 were taken to the British Museum, those from 1905-1923 taken to Vienna After Turkish Republic was founded, taking antiques out of the country was banned. The museum has displayed the artifacts to visitors since 1964, the structure underwent some alterations and enlargements in 1976s, maintaining its present form today.
The museum is not designed according to chronological order, in a direct contradiction, each room has a pattern of composition. Once arrived at the first section, one would come to the “Terrace House Hall” with the findings from the Rich Roman Houses on the slopes at Ephesus. A bronze Eros figure with a dolphin, a frescoe of Socrates indicating the importance of philosophy in the daily life of the citizens, an ityphallic figurine of god Priapos or known as Bes, the protector of everything associated with motherhood and childbearing among the Egyptian gods, as well as an ivory frieze depicting Emperor Trajan with his soldiers against barbarians in the battle field are the most notable ones in this hall. Beside these artifacts, there are other households items for everyday use, medical and cosmetic tools and some portraits of Ephesian physicians.
The next section that is arrived is the “Fountains Findings Hall” from the Fountain structures of both Trajan and Polio, including the beauty goddess Aphrodite without head, a head of god Zeus, a statue of Dionysus with a satyr.
As continued, one would arrive in the coins and the Eros sections, on one side are the Ephesian coins dating back to the particular times, on the other side are the Eros statues exhibited. In the garden are more monumental artifacts on display such as the pediment of Isis Temple with an inscription about the tax regulations, some samples of sarchapogi with Muses, garland and other sculptural ornaments, headless statues of Curetes Street, a sundial.
One of the highlights of the museum, “Artemis Section” is adorned with two colossal statues of mother goddess Artemis, dug out at Prytaneion, one of which is called “Big Artemis” the other is called “Beautiful Artemis”. Both statues have the such similar features as animals, multiple breast signifying the bull testicles, all of which are symbolically related to the idea of fertility.
The last section would be the “Emperors’ Hall” holding the friezes from the Temple of Hadrian, describing the legendary foundation story of the ancient city, the fight of woman warriors “Amazons”, the birth of goddess Artemis, the portraits of emperors, the arm and the head remainings from the huge statue of Emperor Domititan.
In 1995, a crew of the museum discovered two prehistoric settlements in field researches. One lies in the eastern part of Ephesus on the Çukuriçi Höyük, and the other on the road from Selcuk to Kusadasi in the region of Ortygia (Arvalya) on the Arvalya Höyük. Investigations at both sites brought light to pottery sherds that can be dated to the Neolithic, Chalcolithic, and early Bronze ages. Obsidian and silex fragments likewise date to this period. Many of the fragments have hollow handles. Both ends of these cylindrical handles are usually flat and sharply truncated. A few of the fragments have thin vertical handles that were attached to the walls of the vessels by hand when they were made. Some of the original artifacts of Ephesus ancient city are exhibited at such museums as British, Vienna.