THE PERISTYLED HOUSES OF EPHESUS
Although the peristyled houses of the Ephesus, which we found mainly around the central locations of the city, were built in the 1st century A.D., they existed until the 6th and even 7th century. They belonged to the rich people of the city. There are a number of these houses across the Hadrianus Temple which have been renovated recently.
Most of these buildings were connected to the Curettes Road through short and steep side streets. There were stairs leading the way to the entrance of these houses from the street. Usually, they were two or more storey buildings and with approximately 12 rooms. The common feature of all of these houses were a peristyle (a small courtyard) located in the middle of the house to let fresh air circulate and at the same time light come into the rooms from a reasonably protected opening.
There were two entrances into the houses. One was the service entry and the other one was the main entry. The main entrance door were leading the way into the peristyle. This place was a small courtyard in the middle, surrounded by columns around with the room doors opening into the courtyard. Some houses had small cisterns in the middle and also a small fountain next to the columns. Any standard peristyled house in Ephesus had an access to the water distribution system. This access was established via ceramic pipes connected to the main distribution pipe of the city. The thickness of this pipe was adjusted according to the need of the house. This system is considered to be an early model of today's water consumption meters.
Another spectacular feature of these houses was the ceramic pipes hidden into the walls. They were used to heat the rooms by circulating hot air inside. The house had also a well established bathroom. The bathrooms were intended to serve a number of people at the same time. The toilets were inside the bathrooms.
Upper floors were generally bedrooms. The bedroom walls were decorated with frescos and marble tiles. Some of these frescos were representing some scenes from the popular plays of the time or some legends believed by the locals.
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