You may have heard Cappadocia.
This central Turkey region is home to one of the most amazing landscapes in the world – deep valleys and wondrous rock formations with scattered homes, temples and tombs, plus entire subterranean cities harmoniously carved into the natural landforms. These truly unique underground portals hold many now uncovered secrets of ancient cities, empires and religions.
But it seems, there are even more secrets to unearth.
It’s been called the biggest archeological finding of 2014 in December, when a local daily newspaper announced that a massive ancient city was found beneath Nevşehir fortress and the surrounding area, during an urban transformation project carried out by Turkey’s Housing Development Administration (TOKİ).
It may also be literally the biggest out of all the other underground cities in Nevşehir and may even be the largest underground city in the world.
Earlier in the year, we had heard of the man who had found a city under his home in nearby Anatolia, but this tops it all.
Archaeologists say this underground city consists of at least 7 kilometers (about 3.5 miles) of tunnels, hidden churches, and escape galleries.
Details regarding the dating of the new found site are still under way, but researchers have reported retrieving more than forty artifacts from the tunnels so far from their 2 year project, so archaeologists are estimating 5,000 years old based on these findings. A number of other existing sites have also been dated to this time period.
“Some 1,500 buildings were destructed located in and around the Nevşehir fortress, and the underground city was discovered when the earthmoving to construct new buildings had started,” says a reporter of the Hurriyet Daily News.
This province is already famous for its other incredible subterranean city, Derinkuyu, which is eleven levels deep, has 600 entrances, many miles of tunnels connecting to other underground cities and could inhabit 20,000 people with parts for sleeping, stables for livestock, wells, water tanks, cooking pits, ventilation shafts, communal rooms, bathrooms, and even tombs.
Despite pouring so much financial and physical effort, (90 million Turkish Liras to be exact), into the urban transformation project so far, TOKİ has said it will move their project to the outskirts of the city so that this newly found underground city, which has been officially registered with the Cultural and National Heritage Preservation Board, can be investigated and preserved.
Cappadocia is already one of the world’s most striking cave-dwelling regions of the world and the size of this new discovery may just overshadow them all.