Austrian archaeologist devotes life to Ephesus excavations
Austrian architect and archaeologist Anton Bammer has worked in Ephesus for 50 years in a lifelong quest to uncover the ancient city's richness. An Austrian team has been involved in excavations in the region since 1895. Bammer joined the team at the young age of 25 and has been working in Selçuk for the past 50 years.Speaking to the Anatolia news agency, Bammer explained that he has always been very impressed by the ancient city, saying, “I have dedicated my life to Ephesus.” Noting that during his first years in Ephesus he worked in the ancient Roman city on the reconstruction the Memmius Monument, Bammer said he began working on the Artemision excavations in 1965 and successfully reconstructed a column of a giant shrine in 1970. He participated in various digs every year at the Temple of Artemis and discovered several holy structures and sanctuaries during his tenure at the site.
The Austrian archaeologist noted that Ephesus had great political, economic, religious and cultural significance during ancient times and explained that the city was referred to as the Light of Asia (Lumen Asiae) by the Romans.
Bammer initially studied architecture, but later continued his education in geophysics and wrote his dissertation on brick architecture in Ephesus. During his work on the Temple of Artemis, he discovered the temple's altar, the location of which had been unknown, in 1965. Following several years of excavation, it was discovered that the Temple of Artemis, which is seen as one of the leading monumental altars in ancient architecture, had existed since ancient times and had been rebuilt during the fifth century.
Bammer is not only interested in archaeology and architecture, but has also written articles on the uniquely designed wooden homes he has encountered during his travels in Turkey and Greece and enjoys painting with watercolors. He is also a founding member of the Zürich-based Artemis Culture, Art and Education Foundation, which aims to reconstruct the temple as one of the wonders of the world.