From Today's Zaman:

Excavation work at the ancient city of Ephesus in İzmir began 138 years ago and may continue for centuries more, said director of digs at the site and head of the Austrian Archeology Institute Dr. Fritz Krinzinger.

Speaking to the Anatolia news agency last week, Krinzinger said that he has leading excavations in the ancient city, whose construction dates back to 6000 B.C. and the Neolithic era, for the past 10 years. The professor noted that part of the excavation works launched in May would be finalized at the end of September and that his team has finished a total of 14 projects so far.

Krinzinger, whose term as the head of the excavation work ends this year, said Ephesus is very important and, during the course of his leadership, his team tried to unearth as many buildings as possible, evaluate the results of their excavations, examine those buildings revealed and published the data gathered. He stressed that it would be impossible to uncover the entire ancient city at once, underlining that only 10-15 percent of the site has been unearthed so far.

“The excavation work may last for centuries. This is not an easy job. We focus on spots where we are likely to find something important as we cannot carry out the entire excavation at once. It is necessary to examine and research those places that have already been unearthed as well as publish books about them at the same time. Many things should be taken into consideration at this point, such as which century the historical pieces belong to. We have compiled our decade-old work in a book with 12 writers, including photos of all the discoveries. The excavation goes on layer by layer; the pieces gathered from every layer are classified. This is actually really bothersome work, but it is impossible to carry on the project without engaging in such processes.”

Krinzinger added that he would not be leading the excavations in the city next year, but will still closely follow the course of the project. Noting that 1.5 million people visited Ephesus last year, he added that the large number of visitors increases the significance of the ancient city that is so important for world history.