Vast ancient underground city beneath Cappadocia

Vast ancient underground city beneath Cappadocia being excavated

(Read the article on one page)

The newly-discovered subterranean city beneath Nevşehir in Turkey is mysterious, intriguing, and rich with history. The caves, tunnels, hidden churches, and escape galleries, which were uncovered late last year, honeycomb beneath the surface, and are thought to date back 5,000 years.  High tech geo-radar equipment is now being used to detect the exact locations of chambers and passageways in the underground city, in order to excavate the ancient dwellings and uncover the secrets that lie hidden within.

“The data collected by the machine, which is operated by a technical team of three people, is then delivered to the excavation team. Thanks to data from this machine, the excavation process is able to be carried out in a way which limits the amount of damage to the structures of the city,” reports Turkish publication Hurriyet Daily News .

Once excavations are complete, the tunnels and chambers are planned on being opened to the public.

Archaeologists believe the tunnels may have been used to transport agricultural goods. Hurriyet Daily News notes that “forty-four historical objects have been taken under preservation.”

Expected to be classified as the biggest underground ancient city in the world, the dwellings were discovered in 2014 during construction and earthmoving projects by Turkey’s Housing Development Administration’s (TOKİ) urban transformation project. The city is approximately seven kilometers (three and a half miles) in size.

Tatlarin (Nevşehir), Turkey. Caves across the region have been carved out of the soft volcanic rock and used as dwellings, pathways, and storage.

Tatlarin (Nevşehir), Turkey. Caves across the region have been carved out of the soft volcanic rock and used as dwellings, pathways, and storage. Public Domain

Through the ages, the Hittites, Persians, Alexander the Great, Rome, The Byzantine Empire, Ottoman Empire, and Turkey have all governed the spectacular region of Cappadocia in Central Anatolia. One hundred square miles with more than 200 underground villages and tunnel towns complete with hidden passages, secret rooms and ancient temples and a remarkably storied history of each new civilization building on the work of the last, make Cappadocia one of the world's most striking and largest cave-dwelling regions of the world. The most recent discovery under and around Nevşehir Fortress has officials and archaeologists excited.

Nevşehir province in Cappadocia, Turkey.

Nevşehir province in Cappadocia, Turkey. Wikimedia Commons

MORE

Nevşehir province itself is already renowned for the multi-level subterranean city, Derinkuyu , which was once home to as many as 20,000 residents living together underground. It is eleven levels deep and has 600 entrances and many miles of tunnels connecting it to other underground cities.  It incorporates areas for sleeping, stables for livestock, wells, water tanks, pits for cooking, ventilation shafts, communal rooms, bathrooms, and tombs.

A reconstruction of what the Derinkuyu underground city is believed to have looked like

A reconstruction of what the Derinkuyu underground city is believed to have looked like (Wikipedia)

Big plans await the city after excavations have been completed. The historical site is important to tourism in Cappadocia.

Nevşehir Mayor Hasan Ünver tells Hurriyet Daily News, “The existence of this underground city, which consists of 11 neighborhoods around the Nevşehir Fortress, makes us very excited. We are using the latest technology in its cleaning. When the work is done, we plan to build places like boutique hotels, art galleries, handicraft centers, walking routes, a museum and meeting rooms in the underground city.”

The plans will introduce and reconnect people with the ancient past, giving visitors a feel for the lives and culture of those who carried out these magnificent constructions.

Featured Image: Derinkuyu underground city in Cappadocia, Turkey.

By Liz Leafloor

Comments

What sort of material filled up the caves and tunnels?  The article doesn’t say, but I would like to know?  Drifting sand?  Sediment?  

And when did it fill up.  How did they date it?  From artifacts?  

 

Tom Carberry

One of the fantastic place on the Earth. Must see.

It is a culture of the "underworld." Perhaps we should consider "Hebat, the Queen of Hatti" as equivalent to "Persephone, the Queen of Hades," and also consider the possibility that the Hittites (Hattians) were named after a chief god who had a similar name (like unto the Chaldians of Urartu and their god "Chaldi") and who was adopted by the Greeks (Ouranos, Kronos, Zeus = Anu, Kumarbi, Teshub) as their "Hades."

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.

Myths & Legends

The ride to Asgard" by Peter Nicolai Arbo. 1872.
In the beginning there were only native forests and wasteland. The Aesirs, one main group of Norse gods, cleared places to stay, both for themselves and the humans. They named the human’s home Midgard – because it is placed in the middle of the world. And in the middle of Midgard

Human Origins

Edgar Cayce (Credit: Edgar Cayce’s Association for Research and Enlightenment, Author provided)
For nearly 30 years I have returned to the famous “Sleeping Prophet” Edgar Cayce’s readings as a road map to try and piece together the complex origins of civilization and the creation of Homo sapiens. Cayce (March 18, 1877 – January 3, 1945) was an American Christian mystic born in Hopkinsville, Kentucky who answered questions on subjects as varied as healing, reincarnation, wars, Atlantis, and future events while in a trance state.

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