Derinkuyu Underground City

In Derinkuyu Turkey there is an underground city with 11 levels. It's able to hold up to potentially 20 THOUSAND people. It has wine cellars, stables for livestock, and even what appear to be chapels. The openings to each level are guarded by a huge circular rock door that can be shut by a single person from the inside to keep people out. The opening in the center acts as a peep hole.  It also has an air ventilation and pluming system. The largest vent also acts as a well.

"Derinkuyu Underground City is an ancient multi-level underground city of the Median Empire in the Derinkuyu district in Nevşehir ProvinceTurkey. Extending to a depth of approximately 60 m, it was large enough to shelter approximately 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 to date, about half of the underground city is accessible to tourists."

They say it was built/ dug in the 6th or 7th century BC. That's a long time ago for structures that are so advanced. Only 10% of it is open to the public and a lot of the rest isn't even excavated.

I don't know about you but this is crazy to me! Who built them, why, when? There must be some amazing minds that went into making this, not to mention the time and technology required to pull it off. 

"First built in the soft volcanic rock of the Cappadocia region, possibly by the Phrygians in the 8th–7th centuries B.C. according to the Turkish Department of Culture, the underground city at Derinkuyu may have been enlarged in the Byzantine era. During the Persian Achaemenid empire the city was used as a refugee settlement. There are references to underground refugee settlements built by the Persian king Yima in the second chapter of the Zoroastrian bookVendidad. Therefore many scholars believe that the city may have been built by the Persians.The city was connected with other underground cities through miles of tunnels.
Some artifacts discovered in these underground settlements belong to the Middle Byzantine Period, between the 5th and the 10th centuries A.D."
So it sounds like we don't really know who made them originally since other people have used and re-excavated it throughout the years. We also don't know why they were originally built. If it was to prevent against a natural disaster - how would they know one is coming? They definitely wouldn't be a good idea for hiding from floods.

 It's unclear if they were used as a permanent settlement or if they were used only in case of emergencies or for certain times of the year. They may have simply been a way of dealing with the weather and seasons. Underground the temperature usually stays the same whether it is hot or cold at the surface.

The most intriguing thing to me isn't what we've found, it's what we haven't. If there are these huge - habitable - underground cities from thousands of years ago. What else is out there that we haven't found? Could there be ancient people still living/hiding in them? Could there be unknown and undiscovered civilizations underground? What if they are afraid to open up and see if they can come out?

 It kinda brings a whole new perspective to the term "Cave men" - it just depends on the cave. 


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