From Turkish Daily News:

The Austrian archeological team that has been carrying out excavations in Ephesus enlarged the scope of their activity in the past months to cover the nearby tumulus Çukuriçihöyük. The team has uncovered archeologically unique relics in the ancient tumulus

Traces of ancient settlements were unearthed during excavations of a tumulus located to the southeast of the ancient city of Ephesus.

The Austrian archeological team that has been conducting excavations in Ephesus near the city of İzmir for more than a year expanded the scope of their activity in recent months to include the nearby tumulus of Çukuriçihöyük. Led by Dr. Sabine Ladstatter, the team has uncovered archeologically unique relics in the ancient tumulus. Relics shed light on ancient settlements that existed from 6,000 B.C. to 3,000 B.C.

Furthermore, the team has uncovered some relics at a site where the port of ancient Ephesus used to be. Ladstatter said they have also spent time on geophysical examinations in Ephesus in the last few months.

Concert in Ephesus' ancient open air theater

"I appreciate the public demand to watch concerts in the big theater. We plan to complete its restoration within two or three months, but to do so we need cooperation between Austrian and Turkish authorities. Restoration of the ancient open air theater in Ephesus is a genuinely big task, both for archeologists and the restoration experts. We need to strengthen the theater so that we do not have any problems in holding music concerts there. I know that not only Turks but also foreign tourists who visit Ephesus want concerts to be held in Ephesus. I hope this will happen as soon as possible," said Ladstatter.

Excavations delayed

Excavations in Ephesus did not start on the scheduled date but at a later time because the Austrian Archeology Institute was late in appointing a head for the excavation team. But since they started, excavations have been carried out intensively, said Dr. Soner Ateşoğulları, an official from the Culture and Tourism Ministry. Ateşoğulları, who is also an archeologist, said the particular excavations carried out in Çukuriçihöyük are significant because they cast light on the prehistory of Ephesus. "We now have so many new facts related to the Ephesus of prehistoric times thanks to relics we have uncovered in Çukuriçihöyük," he added.

Only 13 percent Ephesus has been unearthed so far. How long it will take to fully uncover the ancient site is unknown. "Archeologists need time. Excavating alone is the easiest part of their job. But restoration of unearthed remnants takes quite a lot time. The Culture and Tourism Ministry wants to have the uncovered remnants restored in a professional way," said Ateşoğulları, adding, "If restoration of them cannot be fully achieved, then they'd better remain under the soil."