Ancient Underground City Discovered in Turkey

Part of the tunnel system that links an underground city discovered in Turkey.
Part of the tunnel system that links an underground city discovered in Turkey.

A network of ancient tunnels have been discovered during routine renovation work underneath a single-storey home in Anatolia, Turkey, Ancient Origins reports.

As workers started digging beneath the property they found an entrance to a rock-cut tunnel only a few meters underneath the ground. Since then, multiple stories of underground living space, covering approximately 4,000 square meters (43,000 square feet) have been excavated. The owner of the property, Mustafa Bozdemir recounted discovery to Zaman Online:

“We thought that there might be storage space for food or a stable beneath the house. But had no idea that it was part of an underground city. The underground city that we found by accident during restoration begins a few meters under the ground and has two levels. There are parts resembling underground remains of settlements in Cappadocia. Wonderful structures emerged everywhere, like an iron workshop and a loft.”

Some of the underground housing contained bones and skeletons which are being analyzed by experts from Erciyes University in Kayseri.

Local mayor Mehmet Osmanbasoglu noted to Zaman Online that “the underground city was active in the Roman, Byzantine and Seljuk eras and other stone buildings there were built in the Ottoman and Republican periods.”

Central Anatolia is famous for its rock-cut houses, some have multiple stories and would have housed thousands of residents.

Bozdemir intends to open the site to visitors and tourists and has requested permission from local authorities to continue excavating the site.

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