BIBLE HISTORY DAILY

In Turkey, Underground City Thought to be World’s Largest Has Been Found

5,000-year-old city may be world’s largest subterranean city

nevsehir-city

A massive subterranean city thought to be 5,000 years old was discovered in Turkey’s Nevşehir Province. Photo: AA Photo.

During an urban building project conducted by Turkey’s Housing Development Administration (TOKİ) in the Central Anatolian province of Nevşehir, a massive underground city was discovered. The city is thought to be 5,000 years old and may be the largest subterranean city in the world. Tunnels, escape galleries and hidden churches have thus far been observed in the city.

“It is not a known underground city. Tunnel passages of seven kilometers [4.3 miles] are being discussed,” TOKİ head Mehmet Ergün Turan told Hurriyet Daily News. “We stopped the construction we were planning to do on these areas when an underground city was discovered.”

“We believe that people who were engaged in agriculture were using the tunnels to carry agricultural products to the city,” explained Özcan Çakır, geophysics professor at Çanakkale Onsekiz Mart University, to Hurriyet Daily News. “We also estimate that one of the tunnels passes under Nevşehir and reaches a faraway water source.”

Nevşehir Province is located in the historical region of Cappadocia in central Turkey. In antiquity, dozens of underground settlements—one so massive it could hold up to 20,000 people—were carved from the landscape’s soft volcanic rock. The region is also famous for conical rock formations known as fairy chimneys.

According to Hasan Ünver, mayor of Nevşehir, the newly discovered city has already been registered with Turkey’s Cultural and Natural Heritage Preservation Board.

Read more about the recently discovered underground city in Hurriyet Daily News here and here.


The free eBook Life in the Ancient World guides you through craft centers in ancient Jerusalem, family structure across Israel and ancient practices—from dining to makeup—throughout the Mediterranean world.


 

Learn about the Tel Maresha caves in the Judean foothills:

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6 Responses

  1. Christian Cruises SpecialistsNew Discovery in Cappadocia! Massive Underground City says:

    […] of the early church, meeting in these fortresses to discuss the stories of Jesus Christ. Click here to learn more about this new discovery. Learn more about our upcoming “Footsteps of Paul” […]

  2. Bill Skibinski says:

    Did Morlocks live there? (The Time Machine).

  3. Paul Ballotta says:

    Fascinating. An elaborate system of tunnels dating back to the beginning of the 3rd millennium B.C.E., at a time when the city of Troy was founded. In Acts of the Apostles 16:1-8 the first missionary journey of Paul through Anatolia omits the mention of Cappodacia (mentioned in Acts 1:9) as they make their way to Troas (possibly ancient Troy), this being in the context of the Holy Spirit preventing the travelers from going to certain regions. Also noteworthy is this apostle’s clinging to Judaism like a magic talisman among the strange scenic landscapes like something out of Tolkien’s “middle earth.”
    Along with Timothy another companion of Paul was Silvanus (2 Corinthians 1:19) and this name pops up again in “The Teachings of Silvanus” from the Nag Hammadi Library, and writes
    “Guard your camp and weapons and spears. Arm yourself and all your soldiers which are the words, and the commanders which are the counsels, and your mind as a guiding principle.”
    Of course, Silvanus is talking about an inner experience using metaphor from the physical world to guard oneself from thoughts that act as marauders invading a city (like in Homer’s Illiad) so as not to allow the Wicked One to cast you into the abyss.
    This discovery is sensational enough to where I shouldn’t have to hype it up even more but as we zoom in on this area of the cities of Neveshir and Goreme where these “fairy chimney” rock formations are, it is tempting to amend the text form the book of Joshua 1:4 where instead of “from this wilderness and Lebanon” the Hebrew word for “this” (“haza”) would be rendered using different vowel points to be read “to dream” and the geographical term for northern Canaan, Lebanon, which is derived from the Hebrew root meaning “white,” would refer to these rock formations like the mountains of Lebanon, so that we have in Joshua 1:4:
    “From the wilderness and the “whitened dreamscape” (where a government-in-exile could have conceivably concealed itself following the collapse of the Hittite Empire) and unto the river (River Halys, the northwestern boundary of the core of the Hittite Empire), the great river Pharat (Euphrates, with the city of Carchemesh as the southeastern boundary of the Hittite Empire), all the land of the Hittites (to include the region of Ishuwa on the northeastern boundary of the Hittite Empire, which the name Joshua may have symbolized), and unto the Great Sea westward (southern boundary of Hittite Empire, the Mediteranean ports of Cilicia on the Anatolian coast where Tarsus is located, the city from which the apostle Paul originated), this shall be your territory.”

  4. Eric says:

    It would have been cool (temperature wise) and I’m sure it was designed with illumination in mind.

  5. Ethan says:

    What was the purpose of all these underground cities? Solely to hide from one’s enemies? It certainly seems like an undesirable place to live in the absence of electricity and the invention of the lightbulb.

Write a Reply or Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *


6 Responses

  1. Christian Cruises SpecialistsNew Discovery in Cappadocia! Massive Underground City says:

    […] of the early church, meeting in these fortresses to discuss the stories of Jesus Christ. Click here to learn more about this new discovery. Learn more about our upcoming “Footsteps of Paul” […]

  2. Bill Skibinski says:

    Did Morlocks live there? (The Time Machine).

  3. Paul Ballotta says:

    Fascinating. An elaborate system of tunnels dating back to the beginning of the 3rd millennium B.C.E., at a time when the city of Troy was founded. In Acts of the Apostles 16:1-8 the first missionary journey of Paul through Anatolia omits the mention of Cappodacia (mentioned in Acts 1:9) as they make their way to Troas (possibly ancient Troy), this being in the context of the Holy Spirit preventing the travelers from going to certain regions. Also noteworthy is this apostle’s clinging to Judaism like a magic talisman among the strange scenic landscapes like something out of Tolkien’s “middle earth.”
    Along with Timothy another companion of Paul was Silvanus (2 Corinthians 1:19) and this name pops up again in “The Teachings of Silvanus” from the Nag Hammadi Library, and writes
    “Guard your camp and weapons and spears. Arm yourself and all your soldiers which are the words, and the commanders which are the counsels, and your mind as a guiding principle.”
    Of course, Silvanus is talking about an inner experience using metaphor from the physical world to guard oneself from thoughts that act as marauders invading a city (like in Homer’s Illiad) so as not to allow the Wicked One to cast you into the abyss.
    This discovery is sensational enough to where I shouldn’t have to hype it up even more but as we zoom in on this area of the cities of Neveshir and Goreme where these “fairy chimney” rock formations are, it is tempting to amend the text form the book of Joshua 1:4 where instead of “from this wilderness and Lebanon” the Hebrew word for “this” (“haza”) would be rendered using different vowel points to be read “to dream” and the geographical term for northern Canaan, Lebanon, which is derived from the Hebrew root meaning “white,” would refer to these rock formations like the mountains of Lebanon, so that we have in Joshua 1:4:
    “From the wilderness and the “whitened dreamscape” (where a government-in-exile could have conceivably concealed itself following the collapse of the Hittite Empire) and unto the river (River Halys, the northwestern boundary of the core of the Hittite Empire), the great river Pharat (Euphrates, with the city of Carchemesh as the southeastern boundary of the Hittite Empire), all the land of the Hittites (to include the region of Ishuwa on the northeastern boundary of the Hittite Empire, which the name Joshua may have symbolized), and unto the Great Sea westward (southern boundary of Hittite Empire, the Mediteranean ports of Cilicia on the Anatolian coast where Tarsus is located, the city from which the apostle Paul originated), this shall be your territory.”

  4. Eric says:

    It would have been cool (temperature wise) and I’m sure it was designed with illumination in mind.

  5. Ethan says:

    What was the purpose of all these underground cities? Solely to hide from one’s enemies? It certainly seems like an undesirable place to live in the absence of electricity and the invention of the lightbulb.

Write a Reply or Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *


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