The excavated monuments of Aphrodisias and their associated sculptures and inscribed texts document the social history and visual culture of an ancient city in unusual detail. Aphrodisias sheds valuable light on larger issues such as the interaction between Greek and Roman identity, the functioning of empire, religious conflict and accommodation, and the transition from antiquity to the Middle Ages. It makes a major difference to our understanding of the ancient world.
The site has been investigated continuously by the current New York University project since 1961, first under the direction of the late Professor Kenan Erim, and since 1991 under that of Professor R.R.R. Smith. The current project focuses on documentation and conservation of previously excavated monuments, on targeted new excavations, and on scientific research and publication.