Objectives & Responsibilities

The Austrian Archaeological Institute (OeAI) has been carrying out research in Ephesos, an ancient city in what is now western Turkey, since 1895.

Thanks to archaeological techniques and the latest technology, the history of Ephesos is being painstakingly revealed. The objectives of the Society of Friends of Ephesos are to support the work of the archaeologists and to help preserve and protect this precious cultural heritage for posterity.

The Society was founded in 1972 as a charitable organisation with the aim of using private initiatives to promote the remarkable work of Austrian researchers in Ephesos. The President of the Society of Friends of Ephesos is Christoph Trentini. The Society currently has around 300 members.

Over the years, the organisation has been able to provide the Austrian Archaeological Institute at the Austrian Academy of Sciences with significant funding for Ephesos. Two highlights of these joint activities were the re-erection of the Library of Celsus (1978) and the roofing over of Terrace House 2 (2000), which helped to preserve a World Cultural Heritage Site.
Today, about 2 million people visit Ephesos, in what is now Turkey, every year. That makes the excavations there one of the most high-profile archaeological sites in the world. For scientists, Ephesos offers the opportunity to carry out fundamental archaeological research and develop new methods in a place that was inhabited from the Neolithic period until the Middle Ages.