Helmut Schwaiger, Jasmin Scheifinger and Sabine Ladstätter (Österreichisches Archäologisches Institut) - Katharina Sahm, A Late Antique City Quarter in Ephesos: Social Differentiation and Functional Heterogeneity
Classical archaeological urban research informs the idea of a functional spatial division via the creation of city quarters. Private residential districts as well as areas of workshops and commercial activity are confronted with public space. A completely different picture is presented by the Late Antique city quarter in Ephesos, which in recent years has been extensively excavated and whose time of origin is dated to the early 5th century AD. Workshops and tabernae not only are immediately adjacent to prestigious domestic buildings, but are also structurally interwoven with them. In addition, no coherent house type can be deduced; instead, the houses are units that are conceived of in a completely varying manner, and differ from each other in their size, sequence and disposition of rooms, and equipment.
Permanent installations bear witness to wine and oil production as well as the storing and further processing of agricultural products. Trading and industrial activities are demonstrable in streetside shops. An appraisal of the archaeozoological material resulted in evidence for the processing of meat and seafood. Furthermore, extensive mapping of objects allows zones of activity to be defined in the individual households.
The picture obtained from the excavations is characterised by heterogeneity and social differentiation, often at a distance of only a few metres. In a virtual reconstruction a partial excavation should be confronted with the extensive one, and the diverse results should be critically discussed, above all with regard to the relationship between private and public space.