Imagine going outside to clear some deep weeds and restore an area in your backyard one spring day and you end up finding an underground city?
That’s what happened to a home-owner Mustafa Bozdemir living in the Melikgazi district of Kayseri province in Anatolia, Turkey. While clearing out an area under his house, he discovered a subterranean city. According to a report in Hurriyet Daily News, 4,000 square meters have been excavated so far.
While this region of Turkey is already known for 40 complete underground cities and 200 villages with tunnel towns, hidden passages, secret rooms and ancient temples, this finding confirms there is much more to discover.
One of the most amazing subterranean cities is Derinkuyu, also in Anatolia, and is eleven levels deep, has 600 entrances, consists of many miles of tunnels connecting it to other underground cities, and can accommodate thousands of people. With areas for sleeping, stables for livestock, wells, water tanks, pits for cooking, ventilation shafts, communal rooms, bathrooms, and tombs, it is remarkable.
When Mustafa Bozdemir decided to carry out restoration work, he explained that what he thought was a single-story home actually turned out to have multiple levels of ancient rooms beneath it!
“We also found some remains during the cleaning works such as human bones. They were examined by a team from Erciyes University,” said Bozdemir in an interview.
The Project Director of the restoration company Guntas, Nuvit Bayar, also stated in an article, “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.”
Experts are comparing this newly-discovered underground structure to Cappadocia where hundreds of subterranean structures have been found in the past.
The government is in agreement as well, since Bozdemir immediately notified the Kayseri Governor’s Office and the Culture and Tourism Directorate upon his findings, who examined the site and gave permission to continue excavations to completely unearth the underground city. They have also contributed approximately $420,000 towards the restoration.
The local mayor Mehmet Osmanbasoglu noted, “We think 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.”
After more than 100 truck loads of soil was removed, multiple rooms across different levels emerged. With about eighty percent of the subterranean city uncovered so far, Mayor Osmanbasoglu says he hopes this current excavation will find the underground city to be linked with the neighboring towns of Turan, Gesi and Zincidere.
So, what other secrets are buried there? Let the excavations continue….