Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Derinkuyu Underground City

The mysterious Cappadocia Region of Turkey contains over one hundred subterranean man-made settlements. Somewhere in the midst of this region lies an enormous ancient underground city built around 8th century BC by the name of Derinkuyu. It was accidently discovered in the 1960s while a local man was renovating his house.

It could have potentially accommodated up to 50,000 people, not including livestock and food. Small rectangular 55 metre long ventilation shafts similar to ones from the Giza Pyramids were seemingly carved out of rock. Also included in this underground habitat were stables, a chapel, a school, dining rooms, a warehouse, wine and oil pressing rooms, a bar, and water wells from an underground river. They also had a security system in the form of large heavy circular stone doors capable of being closed from the inside only.
It is not quite understood how the ancient locals managed to construct such a massive eleven story excavation, something that would be quite difficult to build in modern day and age. The city is connected to similar underground settlements such as Kaymakli and Tatlarin via ten kilometre tunnels and labyrinths. It seems as if the entire population in the area could have gone underground.

The caves may have served as refuge from war or invasion or possibly severe weather. It would also appear that they might have been used to hide against the encroaching Roman army at a later date in time.

How strange it must have been to have had such a large quantity of people living so deep underground in total darkness, without the luxury of flicking a light switch or use of a running toilet, that concept being somewhat incomprehensible by today’s Western cultures standard of living.

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