The picturesque panorama of all the historical pieces at Ephesus ancient city charmed people in every period of the life. It was a commercial and religious center in the antiquity, therefore was always an object for the visitors. In the beginning of the modern world, the tradesmen travelled through the major comercial cities and provided and reported their information, which made Ephesus anticipated.
As a major initiation of excavations Works near the Ephesus ancient city, it was aimed to explore the Temple of Artemis, “Artemision” in other words. John Turtle Wood, the British railroad engineer, who undertook the excavations and the researches on the Temple of Artemis, started his archaeological digs and investigations mainly in 1863 with the sponsorship of the British Museum. He intended to locate the fabolous temple of Artemis, which was one of the seven wonders of the Ancient world. He could finally attain the marble claddings of the temple in 1869, however it was not that much for the sponsors to continue this Project. They did not find the ruins sufficient and stopped supporting 1874. John Turtle Wood had to abonden the research area due to the lack of fund unfortunately.
No more digs occurred at the site till Otto Bennford, the Professor of the Classical Archaeology University of Vienna and the early chairman of the Austrian Institute of Archaeology, launched the excavation Works with the donation of Karl Mautner Ritter von Markhof. This enterprise in 1893 led to substantial findings not only at the Ephesus site but also the surrounding sites in the Selcuk town, like Ayasuluk Hill. They built a house in Selcuk, serving for the archaeologists still today, as a station for all the excavation Works around. The pieces found during this period are the major findings, since 1906 the historical pieces found have no more been taken abroad.
The Austrian Institute of Archaeology was established with a vision that involves conducting the archaeological excavation Works of Ephesus in 1898. The Institute took on a mission which aims to obtain opportunity to search and reveal more at the Ephesus site, attracting awareness on this prominent ancient city as a cultural heritage and a potential for tourism. An even more was unearthed with the annual campaigns carried out by the Institute basicly after 1956, not only by modern tools and machines and also manpower. Eventually, excavations at Ephesus reached a place far beyond what was expected. Henceforth, much more detailed investigations and advertisement issues were concentrated in 1990s. A crew of many scientists from all over the world comes to work for the excavations at Ephesus every season, majorly from Austria, Turkey and Germany. Yet, only a little part of the ancient Ephesus city, which is approximately 15%, has been discovered so far.
It has been 117 years that covers the excavations at Ephesus conducted by the Austrian Institute of Archaeology. The Chair of the Institute and The Excavation at Ephesus, Sabine Ladstätter, reported the archaeological Works and the presentation of the site with conservation to be the goal of this season. A dwelling located nearby the Church of Mary, probably belonging to an aristocrat, is among the brand new findings on which the crew concentrates at the moment. The restoration at the Terrace Houses and The Great Theater of Ephesus is one of the main Works of the Institute. Ladstätter also says that they are happy with the funds provided, adding that they are working with a crew of 200 experts and 60 workers for the excavations in this year. They expect more help and sponsors to be able to go on and reveal more for the excavation at Ephesus site.