The Great Theater in Ephesus City, Turkey, Asia RM
Jose Fuste Raga/© Jose Fuste Raga
Roughly an hour south of Kuşadası, Miletus has a long history. The earliest settlement was in the Neolithic period, roughly 3500 to 3000 B.C.E. The most impressive buildings and art, however, date from three different golden ages. In the 6th century B.C.E., Miletus was the wealthiest Greek city-state and a center of learning; then in the Hellenistic period it rose to prominence again. Finally, under the Byzantines it was an important city and the home of the architect of the Hagia Sophia. Excavations in the 19th century were led by German archaeologists, and while some artifacts were shipped to the Pergamon Museum in Berlin, there is still much to be explored here.