Home | Sources Directory | News Releases | Calendar | Articles | RSS Sources Select News RSS Feed | Contact |  

Derinkuyu Underground City

An underground room in Drinkuyu Underground City (photo credit Haluk Özözlü).

Derinkuyu Underground City is an ancient multi-level underground city in the Derinkuyu district in NevÅehir Province, Turkey. With its eleven floors extending to a depth of approximately 85 m, it was large enough to shelter thousands of people together with their livestock and food stores. It is the largest excavated underground city in Turkey and is part of a network of several underground complexes found across Cappadocia.

It was opened to visitors in 1969 and to date, only ten percent of the underground city is accessible to tourists.

Contents

[edit] Features

The underground city at Derinkuyu could be closed from the inside with large stone doors. The complex has a total 11 floors, though many floors have not been excavated. Each floor could be closed off separately.

The city could accommodate between 35,000 and 50,000 people and had all the usual amenities found in other underground complexes across Cappadocia, such as wine and oil presses, stables, cellars, storage rooms, refectories, and chapels. Unique to the Derinkuyu complex and located on the second floor is a spacious room with a barrel vaulted ceiling. It has been reported that this room was used as a religious school and the rooms to the left were studies[1].

Between the third and fourth levels is a vertical staircase. This passage way leads to a cruciform church on the lowest level.

The large 55 m ventilation shaft appears to have been used as a well. The shaft also provided water to both the villagers above and, if the outside world was not accessible, to those in hiding.

[edit] History

First built in the soft volcanic rock of the Cappadocia region, possibly by the Phrygians in the 8thâ7th centuries B.C according to the Turkish Department of Culture,[2] the underground city at Derinkuyu may have been enlarged in the Byzantine era. The city was connected with other underground cities through miles of tunnels.

One of the heavy stone doors. They have a height of 1â1,5 m, 30â50 cm in width and weigh 200â500 kg. The hole in the centre can be used to open or close the millstone, or to see who is outside[3].

The underground city of Derinkuyu was the hiding place for the first Christians who were escaping from the persecution of the Roman empire[4].[citation needed] Some things discovered in these underground settlements belong to the Middle Byzantine Period, between the 5th and the 10th centuries A.D. It is speculated that number of underground settlements, generally used for taking refuge and for religious purposes, increased during this era. The Christian communities in the region may have taken refuge, closing the millstone doors, when they were subjected to Arab raids which started in the 7th century. T

An underground winery

[edit] Other underground cities

NevÅehir Province has several other historical underground cities. The cities and structures are carved out of unique geological formations. They were used by Christians as hiding places during times of persecution and raids. The locations are now archaeological tourist attractions. They remain generally unoccupied. In excess of 200 underground cities containing a minimum of two levels have been discovered in the area between Kayseri and Nevsehir. Some 40 of those contain a minimum of three levels or more. The troglodyte cities at Kaymaklä and Derinkuyu, are two of the best examples of habitable underground structures.

[edit] See also

[edit] References

[edit] Further reading

[edit] External links

Coordinates: 38â22â33âN 34â44â10âE»¿ / »¿38.37583âN 34.73611âE»¿ / 38.37583; 34.73611



Related Articles & Resources

Sources Subject Index - Experts, Sources, Spokespersons

Sources Select Resources Articles







This article is based on one or more articles in Wikipedia, with modifications and additional content by SOURCES editors. This article is covered by a Creative Commons Attribution-Sharealike 3.0 License (CC-BY-SA) and the GNU Free Documentation License (GFDL). The remainder of the content of this website, except where otherwise indicated, is copyright SOURCES and may not be reproduced without written permission. (For information call 416-964-7799 or use the Contact form.)

SOURCES.COM is an online portal and directory for journalists, news media, researchers and anyone seeking experts, spokespersons, and reliable information resources. Use SOURCES.COM to find experts, media contacts, news releases, background information, scientists, officials, speakers, newsmakers, spokespeople, talk show guests, story ideas, research studies, databases, universities, associations and NGOs, businesses, government spokespeople. Indexing and search applications by Ulli Diemer and Chris DeFreitas.

For information about being included in SOURCES as a expert or spokesperson see the FAQ or use the online membership form. Check here for information about becoming an affiliate. For partnerships, content and applications, and domain name opportunities contact us.


Sources home page