Turkey: the Underground city of Derinkuyu


In the Turkish region of Cappadocia is a town called Derinkuyu beneath Derinkuyu there is an underground city built in ancient times and preserved to our days. Still it remains a mystery who and for what purpose built this city?

Cappadocia is known worldwide for its labyrinth of underground cities. On the surface, it looks no less impressive. Its bizarre landscape, covered with ancient volcanic stone pillars, which are known as “chimneys”. For centuries, there is one civilization has replaced another, the inhabitants of specific cultures within these natural formations carved carving or decorated their surface, turning it into unique monuments.

“Despite the fact that this area was used extensively and changed by man over the centuries, the landscape has preserved the beauty of the natural terrain and looks very harmonious”, ― stated on the page of UNESCO on Goreme National Park and rocky landscapes of Cappadocia.

The city of Derinkuyu (in Turkish “Deep well”), is not the only underground city in Cappadocia. All of these cities, there are about 50. Maybe some cities are not open yet. But the highlight is the underground city of Derinkuyu. It was accidentally discovered in 1963 when a local family was doing repairs in the house and found behind the wall of his home room and the passage leading to the underground maze.

Some of the underground cities already fully developed, some began to explore, following are waiting for their turn. Derinkuyu is the most famous and most studied of this group of underground cities of antiquity. The city covers an area of about 4 square kilometers, leaving the earth to a depth of approximately 55 m. the Researchers believe that the town has maybe 20 floors or so,but so far they were able to examine only 8 of them. Researchers and historians suggest that Derinkuyu could simultaneously accommodate up to 50 thousand inhabitants! According to historians, the base of the underground city was begun by the Hittites around 2000 BC

For what purpose, they began an underground building, still remains a mystery. In the underground city, for the sustenance of perfection has been thought of everything we needed. The residents have arranged ventilation shafts 52, even at lower levels can breathe easy. Water, for the same mines, merged to a depth of 85 m, reach the groundwater and served as a wells, simultaneously cools the temperature, which was kept at 13 — 15, even in the hottest summer months. Halls, tunnels, rooms, and all areas of the city were well lit.

On the upper first and second floors of the city — near the Church, designated for prayer and baptism, missionary schools, barns, pantries, kitchens, dining rooms and living spaces with bedrooms, stables, corrals, and wine cellars. On the third and fourth floors — armories, security, churches and temples, workshops, various industrial premises. On the eighth floor — “conference Room”, a place of common gathering for the selected representatives of families and communities. Gathered here, for the solution of vital issues and global decision-making.

Opinions vary among historians about the fact: lived there people here constantly or periodically. Some scientists believe that the residents of Derinkuyu came to the surface only for agricultural work. Others believe that they lived on the surface, in the small villages nearby and hid under the ground only in times of danger. In any case, has Derinkuyu many underground secret passages (600 or more), which had an exit to the surface in a variety of secret hidden and highly classified areas.

The inhabitants of Derinkuyu, to care, to protect your city from the penetration and trapping. In case of danger the attack moves or disguised,or was filled up by huge boulders, a move that was only possible only from the inside. It is difficult to imagine, but even if the invaders somehow managed to capture the first floors, the system of protection was conceived so that all inputs and outputs are on the lower floors — tightly blocked.

Besides, not knowing the city, the invaders could easily be lost in endless mazes wagging, many of which specifically ended with the traps or dead ends. And the locals, without getting into a collision, or could safely wait out the cataclysm on the lower floors, or if you wish to get to the surface in other places through the tunnels of the lower floors. Some of the underground tunnels had incredible length and up to ten miles!!! As , for example, in the same underground city of Kaymakli.

The underground city was accidentally discovered in 1963. Local farmers and peasants, not understanding the true historical value was found, used for warehouses and places of storage vegetables these well-ventilated area. It was until then until the city has not engaged scientists and researchers. After a while, it was used for tourism purposes.

Available for inspection only a small part — about 10% of the city. In the underground city of Derinkuyu there are many rooms, halls, ventilation shafts and wells. Between levels of the city in the floor are small openings to communicate between adjacent floors. Rooms and halls of the underground city, according to published sources and explanatory panels used as living quarters, kitchens, dining rooms, wineries, warehouses, barns, stables for livestock, churches, chapels and even schools.

In the underground city of Derinkuyu in perfection has been thought of everything necessary for life support. Air city 52 saturate the air vents, so even at lower levels can breathe easy. Water was obtained from the same mines as, going to a depth of 85 m, they reach the groundwater as well. To prevent poisoning during the invasion of enemies, the outlets of some of the wells were closed. In addition to these carefully oberhausens wells with water and a special ventilation shaft, skillfully camouflaged in the rocks.

In case of danger, moves to the dungeon was filled up by huge boulders, which could move from the inside of 2. Even if the invaders were able to get on the first levels of the city, his plan has been designed so that the passages in the underground galleries tightly blocked inside a huge stone wheel-doors. And even if the enemies were able to overcome them, not knowing of secret passages and labyrinths plan, it would be very hard to get back to the surface. There is a view that the underground tunnels was built in such a way to confuse intruders.

Modern science is still not fully discovered all the secrets of the creation of this miracle of architecture and techniques used by ancient architects for centuries or millennia often have to guess. Upper more ancient floors cut down roughly, using primitive techniques, the lower more perfect in terms of finish.

What do they say about the time of construction of underground structures of Cappadocia’s historical records?

The oldest known written source about underground cities dates from the late IV century BC is the “Anabasis” is a Greek writer and historian Xenophon (C. 427 – CA. 355 BC). This book talks about the location for the night the Greeks in the underground cities. In it, in particular, reported:

“In populated areas, houses are built underground. The entrance to the houses was a narrow throat as well. However, the interior was quite spacious. Animals were kept in carved underground shelters, they had built a special road. Home invisible if you do not know the entrance, but people come to this refuge of the stairs. Inside contained sheep, goats, lambs, cows, birds. Locals in clay vessels was making beer from barley… and residents in wells made wine…”.

We found Anabasis by accident and was surprised at its size. The tunnels leading down, such that it is possible to drag an elephant. Many big and small ladders. Huge wells. Underground square dance public. These cities are made so that no one noticed them from the surface. People were enemies of their residents.

Another Greek geographer and historian Strabo (C. 64 BC – CA. 24 ad) had said: “This country, from Lycaonia to Caesarea including Megahub, despite Poroshina location and contains the deepest wells.

Professor of archaeology from Nevsehir Suleiman Camoglu explained: Officially the underground cities of Cappadocia considered a refuge of the first Christians. Christians were hiding under the earth since the days of the Emperor Nero, when they were persecuted by the Romans. However, they found the cave already empty – accidentally discovered the maze. According to the Ministry of culture of Turkey, the underworld existed in the VI century BC, during the reign of king Midas of Phrygia – the same one that, according to legend, turned things into gold. The traps not only built a developed city, in a spiral going down towards the center of the earth, but bound them to each other by tunnels. Each tunnel of such width that it could drive the cart with the horse .

According to the expert on the archaeology of Los Angeles Raul Saldivar, who lives and works in Nevsehir: Christians And the Phrygians already found the premises empty. In 2008 he carried out radiocarbon Dating. He showed that cities carved in the rocks about… 5 thousand years ago. Separate cells were used as banks have kept tons of gold. Excavations brought to the surface hundreds of bones of domestic animals, but… not a single skeleton of a local resident”.

These statements of the Greek authors, and modern scientists confirm the previous assumption that the underground cities of Cappadocia existed in the first Millennium BC (VI-IV centuries BC). Given the finds of obsidian tools, Hittite writings, items Hittite and donetskoy eras and results radiocarbon Dating the time of their construction may be classified as II-III and based on the results of a study of Neolithic Central Turkey) to the VII-VIII Millennium BC and even earlier, Paleolithic, times. But how to earlier, it is not possible to judge any historical or archaeological evidence.

“Who were the builders of these mysterious underground structures?”. In fact, according to research by British archaeologists, who worked in 2002-2005 in Nevsehir, underground cities of Cappadocia could inhabit quite specific people. According to the researchers, their growth did not exceed five feet, which allowed them to squeeze into small passages between the underground halls and rooms. The room in which they lived, was also small – as it does not believe that the ordinary people of the growth decades could live in close quarters.

And that “pretty special people” lived underground for a long time, is proved by the branched structure of underground cities, going deep down and connected with numerous tunnels. With in depth number of rooms, food stores, wine cellars, halls for meetings and ceremonial meetings is increasing. We have often witnessed this. Dungeons in no case can not be considered temporary shelters in which people lived a few weeks or months (although they occasionally were used as such in later times), as rightly noted by the Director of the Department of Sagrantino and investigations “AIF”, was settled thoroughly, the entire underground streets to have fun during the holidays, got married, had children.

Raul Saldivar wrote:

“No one can clearly explain why it was build underground so huge cities and why their population preferred to live in the darkness, not knowing the sunlight? From whom were they hiding and why? It turns out that under the earth there was another, separate world. And is it only in Turkey? Perhaps the cities were all over the world… think about it afterwards, ” continued Raul Saldivar. – Maybe a medieval legend about dwarfs – not a fairy tale but a reality?”.

In the works of other researchers, too, sometimes slip the idea about a special underground race of dwarfs (and here) – the inhabitants of the underground cities. As it was written in the early work, studies of underground structures of Mareshah Beth Gavrila, Horvat of Midrash, and other Luzit in Israel, I also came to the conclusion that they were built by the extinct dwarf people, reminiscent of the fairy gnomes. And it was a very long time – hundreds of thousands or millions of years ago.

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