Ancient underground city in Anatolia

The ancient underground city discovered beneath a house in Anatolia

(Read the article on one page)

In 2014, a home owner living in the Melikgazi district of Kayseri province in Anatolia made a surprising discovery while clearing out an area under his house – a subterranean city, of which 4,000 square metres have been excavated so far, according to a report in Hurriyet Daily News . The region of Anatolia in Turkey is famous for its underground cities, particularly in the region of Cappadocia where more than 40 complete underground cities and 200 underground villages and tunnel towns complete with hidden passages, secret rooms, and ancient temples have been found.

Mustafa Bozdemir, 50, was bequeathed a house in Melikgazi five years ago and decided to carry out restoration work. He explained that what he thought was a single-storey house, turned out to have multiple levels of ancient rooms beneath it. “We also found some remains during the cleaning works such as human bones. They were examined by a team from Erciyes University,” said Bozdemir. 

Nuvit Bayar, the Project Director of Guntas, the company responsible for the restoration, described the discovery to Zaman Online :

"We thought that there might be storage space for food or a stable beneath the house. But had no idea that it was part of an underground city. The underground city that we found by accident during restoration begins a few meters under the ground and has two levels. There are parts resembling underground remains of settlements in Cappadocia. Wonderful structures emerged everywhere, like an iron workshop and a loft.

The newly-discovered underground structure in Melikgazi

The newly-discovered underground structure in Melikgazi has been compared to Cappadocia (pictured) where hundreds of subterranean structures have been found. Photo credit: Wikimedia.

Bozdemir immediately notified the Kayseri Governor’s Office and the Culture and Tourism Directorate, who examined the site and gave permission to continue excavations to completely unearth the underground city. They have also contributed the equivalent of $420,000 towards the restoration.

“We think that the underground city was active in the Roman, Byzantine and Seljuk eras and other stone buildings there were built in the Ottoman and Republican periods," the local mayor Mehmet Osmanbasoglu told Zaman Online .

More than a hundred truck-loads of soil were removed from the underground structure, revealing multiple rooms across several levels. It is believed that around eighty percent of the subterranean city has been uncovered so far. Osmanbasoglu said he hopes excavations will find the underground city is linked with the neighbouring towns of Turan, Gesi and Zincidere.

The region of Anatolia in Turkey is known to have the most spectacular underground networks in the world. One of the most magnificent subterranean cities is Derinkuyu, which is eleven levels deep, has 600 entrances, consists of many miles of tunnels connecting it to other underground cities, and can accommodate thousands of people. It is truly an underground city, with areas for sleeping, stables for livestock, wells, water tanks, pits for cooking, ventilation shafts, communal rooms, bathrooms, and tombs.

A visual depiction of Derinkuyu in Anatolia

A visual depiction of Derinkuyu in Anatolia, Turkey. Photo credit: Wikimedia

While the latest discovery in Melikgazi is unlikely to be as spectacular as Derinkuyu, it is nevertheless an extremely significant finding, demonstrating that the underground world of Anatolia has not yet given up all its secrets.

Featured image: A section of the underground city found under a home in Melikgazi district, Anatolia. Credit: DHA photo

By April Holloway


johnblack's picture

Impressive! Lucky man ...

What was the problem above ground that inspired this under ground dwelling?

Looking at all of the empires which have controlled that piece of ground, the population's motive for moving underground may have been defense from invaders.

Looking at all of the empires which have controlled that piece of ground, the population's motive for moving underground may have been defense from invaders.

avoiding mass extinction

I've been pondering the 'above ground' problem for years. Avoiding invaders by going underground never made sense to me. Then I read Dr. Robert Schoch's book on ancient civilizations as well as watched a Space Weather report by Suspicious 0bservers (the 'O' is a 'zero'). Solar activity. A series of solar flares and ejections during a turbulent time would require people to go underground for a multitude of reasons. And it looks like maybe several different periods over the past 12-15,000 years. Anyway... just my opinion.

Tsurugi's picture

My thoughts exactly. What drives people underground?

Fire in the sky.

you'd find answers if more study was done on why the Etruscans left to settle in Italy. They are still mysterious and this was their land.

It could be as simple as the fact that building underground meant staying warm in winter and cool in summer.

No one digs for fun especially dig through rock on such a massive scale ..unless...unless there was an exceptionally good and urgent reason.
Amongst the good reasons was Great Balls of Fire!.I am being quite serious.Read the Mythologies .
Think about it.

No one digs for fun especially dig through rock on such a massive scale ..unless...unless there was an exceptionally good and urgent reason.
Amongst the good reasons was Great Balls of Fire!.I am being quite serious.Read the Mythologies .
Think about it.

How exciting to find an underground city under you house. I would start digging now, but living in an apartment block, would only end up in my neighbors living room!

Maybe Jesus went down in the underground city in Gaza......

Great article about an area new to me!

angieblackmon's picture

Man, if I sent my husband to clean the basement and he found an entire city I'd never hear the end of it! Wonderful article! Amazing discovery!!! There are several underground cities...I doubt they all would be able to link up, but I'd like to think they can!

love, light and blessings


I think it would be rad if I had an under ground city cause then I could play in it and no one could know where I was at hehehhehehhee

I very much enjoyed this article about an amazing discovery.

its great dicovery and very intresting

Register to become part of our active community, get updates, receive a monthly newsletter, and enjoy the benefits and rewards of our member point system OR just post your comment below as a Guest.

Ancient Technology

Left side view of the Pyramid of the Sun, Teotihuacan.
Teotihuacan’s Lost Kings, a television special, took an hour long look at the great city, its inhabitants, and the excavation of the Temple of Quetzalcoatl, (also known as the Feathered Serpent Pyramid.) The program revealed evidence of advanced engineering built into a tunnel system, and placed directly underneath the Pyramid.

Our Mission

At Ancient Origins, we believe that one of the most important fields of knowledge we can pursue as human beings is our beginnings. And while some people may seem content with the story as it stands, our view is that there exists countless mysteries, scientific anomalies and surprising artifacts that have yet to be discovered and explained.

The goal of Ancient Origins is to highlight recent archaeological discoveries, peer-reviewed academic research and evidence, as well as offering alternative viewpoints and explanations of science, archaeology, mythology, religion and history around the globe.

We’re the only Pop Archaeology site combining scientific research with out-of-the-box perspectives.

By bringing together top experts and authors, this archaeology website explores lost civilizations, examines sacred writings, tours ancient places, investigates ancient discoveries and questions mysterious happenings. Our open community is dedicated to digging into the origins of our species on planet earth, and question wherever the discoveries might take us. We seek to retell the story of our beginnings. 

Ancient Image Galleries

View from the Castle Gate (Burgtor). (Public Domain)
Door surrounded by roots of Tetrameles nudiflora in the Khmer temple of Ta Phrom, Angkor temple complex, located today in Cambodia. (CC BY-SA 3.0)
Cable car in the Xihai (West Sea) Grand Canyon (CC BY-SA 4.0)
Next article