85 meters deep underground, the world’s largest underground city
in Turkey’s Cappadocia World Heritage Site, known as fairy chimneys, because of rocks and mysterious underground city known around the world. The strange stones in this place are the products of nature and there are no secrets at all, but this underground city is full of mysteries. Who built this city and when was it built? There are no clear answers to these questions so far.
There are about 250 ruins of huge settlements underground in Cappadocia, which are basically used by 2-3 families. And there are more than 40 large-scale structures that are more than 3 stories underground and can be called underground cities.
The largest of these is the Derinkuyu Underground City. The entire city occupies an area of about 4 square kilometers, with 8-story buildings reaching 85 meters underground. The archaeologist and poet Umairu Demilu, who is responsible for the main excavations of the underground city, wrote in his book “Cappadocia Underground”: Derinkuyu Underground City can accommodate 2,000 families in total1 Ten thousand people live.
But at the end of 2014, a larger underground city was discovered. This unnamed underground city is located 29 kilometers north of Derinkuyu, the city of Nevsehir, the seat of the Cappadocia County Government.
According to researchers from Nevsehir University through physical exploration, the depth of this unnamed city reached 113 meters, which is 30% deeper than Delinkuyu, and it is indeed the world’s largest underground city.
Inherited from the underground shelter Pacific during
Derinkuyu underground city as much as 8 layers deep underground, tourists need at any time during a visit to rest a job.
Entering the underground from the entrance, what awaits everyone is a dim world. The first and second underground floors cover the chapel, the kitchen, the place where baptisms are held, the food warehouse, the bedroom, the canteen, the wine cellar, and even the places where animals are raised. The 3rd and 4th underground floors are supposed to be shelters, and there are also weapons depots.
As we all know, underground cities are generally refuges for all ethnic groups. There is a round turnstile on the way to the 3rd underground floor. This door that can only be opened from the inside has a diameter of 150-180 cm, a thickness of 40-50 cm, and a weight of about 500 kg.
Considering that the stone material is hard and different from the surrounding environment, it is speculated that this round turnstile was carried in from outside.
Although the construction of such a huge underground city is a big project, the work of excavating the rock is not as difficult as imagined. The bedrock near here is a tuff formed by volcanic ash accumulation. The texture is soft when excavated, and it gradually becomes hard when it comes in contact with air.
But building such a city underground with a capacity of 10,000 people is not an accidental idea of some people. There must be a strong motivation. These complex buildings like ant dens cannot be completed in a short time.
So, when was this underground city built?
The earliest record of the underground city of Cappadocia can be traced back to 400 BC before the birth of Christ. The Greek historian Xenophon once stated in the “Long March” that the
villagers’ homes were built underground. The entrance to the house is very narrow like a well, but the underground rooms are very spacious. There are also livestock in the underground, including sheep, goats, chickens, ducks, cows, etc., and livestock enter and exit the underground through dense tunnels. The entrance of the secret road is very hidden and difficult to be found. The villagers use ladders to enter the rooms where livestock are kept.
In other words, underground cities already existed in 400 BC. And its function is not a refuge, but a place for daily life. Unfortunately, we still don’t know exactly when it was born.
However, archaeologists have some general views on this.
According to archaeological analysis, the underground city should be built in the 7th to 8th century BC. The Phrygians who lived in Cappadocia at that time used it as a storage place or a hiding place to escape attacks.
During the Roman period, Greek-speaking Christians lived in this area. It can be confirmed that they have greatly expanded the underground caves, used several rooms as chapels, and carved them in Greek characters. During the Byzantine era from the 8th to the 12th century, the Eastern Roman Empire fought against the Islamic Arabs that had risen, so the underground city once again became a refuge. It played the same role when the Mongols invaded in the 14th century.
Later, Greek Christians used this underground city to escape the persecution of Islamic leaders. It was not used until 1923 in the 20th century when Greece and Turkey ceased fire and exchanged populations.
For the following reasons, Turkish archaeologist Umailu Demilu believes that Derinkuyu’s architecture may be dated back to the Paleolithic era:
First, the upper (old) and lower (new) parts of the underground city have different styles.
Secondly, the cutting traces of the upper part of the rock tool have completely disappeared, but the traces of the lower part are still clearly visible. It takes many years for the traces of the chisel to disappear, which shows that the construction age of the top and bottom of the building is far apart.
In any case, these more than 40 huge underground cities have a space that can accommodate 2,000 families. The purpose of construction is far more than just temporary shelters. There must be something long-term and stronger behind it. Construction motivation.
The “Winter of Destruction”
written by British writer Griem Hancock, which was 12,800 years ago , became a bestseller once it was published in September 2015.
Regarding the underground cities of Cappadocia, Hancock mentioned in the book:
There is no doubt that archaeologists believe that these underground cities were first built by the Phrygians. But they are just one of many civilizations that use this underground city. The appearance of this bizarre underground structure is likely to be far earlier than the Phrygians, and may be traced back to the “Winter of Destruction” period, which began at the end of the New Fairy period 12,800 years ago.
What is the end of the new fairy? The coldest stage of the last ice age was the extreme peak period 20,000 years ago. Since then, the earth has gradually warmed. The climate 12,800 years ago was even warmer than the current earth, so the ice cap on the earth began to melt. . However, at this time, it suddenly entered an extremely cold period that was colder than the extreme peak period 20,000 years ago. The cause of this is unknown, but in recent years, there are theories that it was caused by the fall of a comet. The extreme cold period started suddenly and ended abruptly after 1200. The reason for the sudden end is still unknown, and the melting of the 3000-meter-thick ice cap caused the earth’s sea level to rise 200 meters.
Griem Hancock believes that people at that time may have built underground cities and moved into them to avoid “Winter of Destruction”. There are indeed some myths and legends in the world that have appeared in the “Winter of Destruction”.
In the book “The Magic of the Gods”, underground cities have also appeared in the religious stories of Zoroastrianism. There is also a folklore on the Internet that a man named Yima was instructed by the gods to build an underground structure called “Baru”. The underground city Baru “has multi-level basements, 3 kilometers long and 3 kilometers wide, with roads, houses, capable of accommodating 2,000 people, and artificial lighting. Finally, Ima closed it through a golden ring.” These descriptions are very similar to the underground cities of Cappadocia.
If the purpose of Imma’s construction of Baru City is to avoid the “Winter of Destruction”, then it cannot be ruled out that the purpose of building the Cappadocia Underground City may also be to avoid the possibility of changes in the world.
85 meters deep underground, the world’s largest underground city