Monday, December 13, 2010

Derinkuyu, the mysterious underground city of Turkey

In 1963, an inhabitant of Derinkuyu (in the region of Cappadocia, central Anatolia, Turkey), knocking down a wall of his house cave, discovered amazed that behind it was a mysterious room that he had never seen, and this led him room to another and another and another to it ... By chance he had discovered the underground city of Derinkuyu, whose first level could be excavated by the Hittites around 1400 BC
Archaeologists began to explore this fascinating underground city abandoned. It managed to forty meters deep, but is believed to have a fund of up to 85 meters.
At present 20 levels have been discovered underground. Only eight can be visited at the highest levels; others are partially blocked or restricted to archaeologists and anthropologists who study Derinkuyu.


The city was used as a refuge for thousands of people living in the basement for protection from the frequent invasions suffered Cappadocia, at various times of their occupation, and by the early Christians.
The enemies, aware of the danger that enclosed inside the city, usually the people who were trying to leave the area by poisoning wells.


The interior is striking: the underground galleries of Derinkuyu (where there is room for at least 10,000 people) could hang on three strategic points moving circular stone door. These heavy rocks that shut down the aisle prevented the entry of the enemies. Were between 1 to 1.5 meters in height, about 50 centimeters wide and weighing up to 500 Kilos.


In the picture above shows how the circular stone door closed the aisle, isolating the inhabitants of the subsoil
In addition, Derinkuyu has a tunnel about 8 miles long that leads to another underground city of Cappadocia, Kaymakli.


Of the underground cities of this area spoke the Greek historian Xenophon. In his work AnĂ¡basis explained that people who lived in Anatolia had dug their homes and were living in underground shelters large enough for a family, your pets and supplies of food stored.

Recovered at the stables have been located, dining, a church (cruciform plan of 20 by 9 meters with a ceiling of more than three meters high), kitchens (yet ennegrecidas by soot from the fires which was lit for cooking ), Presses for wine and olive oil, wine, food shops, a school, numerous rooms and even a bar.
The city benefited from the existence of an underground river, water wells and had a wonderful ventilation system (52 wells have been discovered vents) that amazes engineers today.

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