Since these houses are located in the town center they wereobviously occupied by important people. The area is therefore called the "Rich Houses" or "Hillside Palace". Every terrace onthe stepped street was a home entrance. All were peristyle (witha small pool in the center) and the rooms were arranged around the pool. Most houses werethree-story not higher than 20 or 25 m. Columns were on all sides and the floors were marble. There asrunning water to the houses, either from a fountain or along the side. In some houses there were even cisterns and wells. Lightcame in from the open eristyle, but not enough to keep thehouses from being dim, since there were no windows. The houses were lighted like the baths were. The floors were mosaic, thewalls had frescoes or colored marble. The precious finds from the houses are on display in the Ephesus Museum.
The houses were built up the first century AD and were used as late as Heraclius' time (611-641) doubtless with multiple restorations.