Man discovers 2,000-year-old underground city by tearing down basement wall

Sometimes the most amazing discoveries happen unexpectedly, and that’s precisely what happened when a man hunting his chickens sparked the discovery of Derinkuyu, an incredible ancient underground city in the Cappadocia region of Turkey. .

an unexpected find

It was the year 1963 when a local man hunted his chickens on his property. In his rush to catch one of them, he mysteriously disappeared down a hole in the basement. Intrigued by the strange disappearance, the man began to investigate and dig around the scene, unaware that he was about to discover something extraordinary.

The underground city of Derinkuyu could house 20,000 inhabitants.

The discovery of Derinkuyu

The man went deeper into the excavation and decided to tear down one of the walls. It was there when I found a complex network of tunnels and underground chambers which seemed endless. With each new passage he discovered, his astonishment grew, and it became clear that he had found something of great historical significance.

What started as a chase after chickens turned into the discovery of a hidden underground citythe ancient city of elengubuknown today as Derinkuyu.

Derinkuyu: an ancient marvel

Derinkuyu turned out to be a masterpiece of ancient engineering. Stretching to a depth of around 85 meters underground, this ancient underground city dates back to the 7th or 8th century BC. It is believed to have been built as a refuge to ward off enemy pursuits, although d Other theories link her to a refuge for unknown purposes. .

Its design and structure demonstrate meticulous planning and a remarkable ability to accommodate thousands of people for long periods of time.

Illustration of the Derinkuyu basements. Credit:

After the initial discovery, archaeologists and experts from the Cappadocia region began exploring Derinkuyu for more clues to its history and purpose. What they found was amazing. Inside you can see entrances that connect with over 600 private residences in the current region of Cappadocia, located on the surface.

At the site, 18 levels of tunnels containing residential areas, dry food warehouses, stables, schools, warehouses, a chapel and other community spaces were also discovered. The place even had water wells and a ventilation system that provided fresh air; revealing a self-sufficient and complex underground society.

Large underground ventilation shaft. Credit: Nevit Dilmen/Wikimedia commons.

Each level was connected to doors blocked by half-ton boulders, which could only be moved from the inside and contained a small hole that allowed residents to repel potential intruders.

It’s the the deepest underground city discovered in the world. It is believed to connect to over 200 separate small underground cities that have been discovered over the past decades.

Left: a chapel. On the right: a large room. Credit: Martijn Munneke / Martin Cígler / Wikimedia commons.

As to who were the architects of this monumental place, the answer remains a mystery. Some experts attribute it to the Hittites, a Bronze Age Anatolian people.

A. Bertini, specialist in Mediterranean caves indicates: “they could have dug the first levels in the rock when they suffered the attack of the Phrygians around the year 1200 BC.

Tourist attraction and heritage

Since its discovery, Derinkuyu has become a popular tourist attraction in Türkiye. Thousands of visitors arrive every year to explore its narrow passages and marvel at the ancient architecture that hides underground. There Metro City offers a unique insight into the life and challenges faced by those who have sought refuge there.

Derinkuyu has been considered a World Heritage Site by Unesco since 1985.

Derinkuyu’s unexpected discovery reminds us that history is often found in the most unexpected places. Their discovery allowed us to learn about an ancient society and their incredible ability to build an underground city that has stood the test of time.

You might also be interested in: Underground civilizations mentioned in legends of Native American tribes.

Derinkuyu remains an impressive testimony to human engineering and ingenuity and an archaeological gem that connects us to the past in a unique way.

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