Monday, October 2, 2017

Underground cities: Cappadocia (video)

Lorie Maravilla, Apr 9, 2017; Pat Macpherson, Dhr. Seven (eds.), Wisdom Quarterly

CAPPADOCIA, Turkey - The origin of the underground city of Derinkuyu, according to the Turkish Department of Culture, was that it was first built by the Phrygians in the 8th-7th centuries BCE then enlarged in the Byzantine era.

The oldest written source about these underground complexes is the Anabasis by Xenophon (circa 431-355 BCE). He wrote that the people living in Anatolia dug their houses underground, living well in accommodations large enough for the family, domesticated animals, and supplies of stored food.

Alternatively, these underground Turkish cities were believed to have been constructed around 1,400 BCE by the Hittites. This is confirmed by archaeological finds, but the exact date remains unknown.

  • Derinkuyu (Cappadocian Greek Μαλακοπή) is an ancient multi-level underground city in the Derinkuyu district in Nevşehir Province, Turkey. It extends  to a depth of approximately 200 feet (60 meters), is large enough to have sheltered as many as 20,000 people together with their livestock and food stores. It is the largest excavated underground city in Turkey and is one of several underground complexes found across Cappadocia. It was opened to visitors in 1969 and about half of the underground city is currently accessible to tourists. More
Underground Pagans
The cities are thought to date back to Hittite times, at least 1900-1200 BCE. Hittite-style seals have been found during excavations. And other Hittite remains, such as a lion statue, have turned up in the area.

It is possible that the underground rooms were used as shelters during the attacks of 1,200 BCE, when the Hittite Empire was destroyed by invaders from Thrace.
Hand Carved Longyou Caves Mystery
Later the complexes were enlarged by other civilizations. The presence of missionary schools, churches, and wine cellars indicate that they were used by early Christian communities. No matter who and when these underground cities were built, they are considered one of the best examples of ancient engineering.

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