State Agora

About halfway down Curettes Way and blocking access to the aristocratic reaches of the Upper Agora is the Gate of Hercules . Two of the columns show Her -cules wrapped in lion skin.
Immediately on the right is the two-story Trajan’s Fountain , the point at which the star-studded section of the tour begins. Many visitors peter out because they’ve already spent a good portion of their time and energy before arriving at this point, so if you’re resigned to the fact that you can’t see everything, this is where you should begin the serious part of your tour, after having had a peek at the Odeon. Trajan’s Fountain was built in the emperor’s honor at the beginning of the 2nd cen -tury. The ruins have been partially restored, although only the base and a fragment of Trajan’s foot have been recovered. The fountain was decorated with statues of Diony -sus, a satyr, Aphrodite, and others, now on exhibit in the Ephesus Museum. Located after the Trajan Fountain and running perpendicular to Curettes Way past
the Baths of Scholastikia is another street, paved in some places with marble slabs. The portion leading above the theater has been excavated.

In ongoing excavations, the original foundation of the Agora was discovered about 6m (20 ft.) below current ground level. The middle of the Agora was studded with statues of Ephesian notables, and at the center, a horologion, or sundial. The Temple of Serapis, located at the southwestern end of the Agora, is also closed off due to ongoing excavations. The temple was probably built by Egyptian traders and used as a church during Christian times.