Ephesus was a centre of travel and commerce with its one of the greatest seaports of the ancient world. The great port created a big city with over 250,000 inhabitants in Ephesus during the Roman time. There were three major roads from the Ephesus seaport; one road went south to the Meander Valley, another east towards Babylon via Laodicea and a third to the north via Smyrna. Because of the excellent port in Ephesus, the early Ionian colonists from Athens chose there as a trade-link city for transporting goods from the west to the Asian interior. Important items of trade around the Mediterranean were olive oil, animals, glass, stone such as marble, tiles etc, wine, grain, pottery vessels, metals such as iron, copper, lead, gold, tin etc and slaves.
The port of Ephesus has silted up over the years and Ephesus is now about 6 miles inland from the coast. The area around Ephesus and harbor turned into a swamp. Mosquitoes increased more and more. A series of malaria epidemics decimated the population and the Ephesians abandoned the city almost in one hundred years. Earthquakes destroyed come part of Ephesus but the unhealthful conditions actually preserved the structures since nobody even wanted to come in and haul off the stones to build other cities. Instead of settling in Ephesus again, they found new port city for themselves and they called there “scala nuova” means new port. Life is still going on in Scala Nuova and it is one of the most popular Mediterranean ports in modern day and called as Kusadasi. Every day in summer cruise ships dock to Kusadasi port and many cruise guests love to visit old port city Ephesus which is inland.
The port of Ephesus is at the end of the Arcadian Street (Harbor Street) which is in front of the Grand Theatre in Ephesus and waiting for excavations.