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Byzantine small finds and their workshops in Ephesus

Project leader at the Academy:
Manfred Schreiner (Institute for Natural Sciences and Technology in the Arts)

Overall project leader:
Andrea Pülz (Austrian Archaeological Institute)

Funded by:
FWF | Stand-alone project (P22941)

FWF | Stand-alone project
led by Manfred Schreiner, Institute for Natural Sciences and Technology in the Arts
Duration: 1.3.2011 – 29.2.2016

The intended study is part of a large-scale research on Byzantine Ephesus within the framework of a cooperation project between the Austrian Archaeological Institute (ÖAI; S. Ladstätter) and the Institute for Studies in Ancient Culture/Austrian Academy of Sciences (A. Pülz). The aim of this project is an interdisciplinary study on the development of the city and the material culture in the Byzantine period in the Metropolis Asiae.

Work on the material is to concentrate on the one hand on finds from current excavations in the Early Byzantine residential quarters and in the so-called Byzantine Palace, on the other hand it is to focus on the so-called old findings from the Terrace House 2 (Tabernae, workshops) and other locations in Ephesus such as the Church of Mary. The final evaluation is to contain all Byzantine small finds - including the material already published, for example from the so-called St Luke's Tomb.
Due to an official cooperation with the Ephesos-Museum in Selçuk it is possible to include objects which do not actually originate from Austrian excavations (they come from Turkish excavations e.g. in the Basilica of St John) or derive from unknown contexts found in Selçuk and its surroundings (these finds were given to the museum by the local people). In the same way the Byzantine finds which were brought from Ephesus to the Kunsthistorisches Museum in Vienna in the late 19th and beginning of the 20th century, will likewise be considered.

The Ephesian material consists of jewellery, dress ornaments and objects of daily use and covers a time frame from the Early to the Late Byzantine period. The materials used are gold, silver, copper alloys and bone. The object groups include pendants, bracelets, earrings, finger rings, pins and brooches, as well as belts components (like buckles, strap ends, belt fittings). The crosses generally made of bronze and silver include about 80 pieces and offer an excellent view of this group of liturgical objects from the Early to the Late Byzantine period. In addition to dress ornaments, jewellery and liturgical objects there are also cosmetic and medical instruments (e.g. ear spoons), weapons (e.g. arrowheads), basic commodities and household equipment. This includes jars and pots made of metal, chains for lamps, weights, bells, spoons, furniture and door fittings, nails and locks as well as scales.
The aim is a holistic historico-cultural and contextual analysis of the Byzantine material from Ephesus with the aim of presenting the material in the form of a monograph.