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Full Version: Derinkuyu: the ancient underground city, once home to 20,000 people (architecture)
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INTRO: In the 1960s, a Turkish man was doing some casual home decor when he made one of the most amazing archaeological discoveries in history. When he knocked down a wall in his basement he made more room than he bargained for, stumbling across a gallery that led to an extensive 18-story-deep underground city we now know as Derinkuyu.

[...] Derinkuyu, found in the province of Cappadocia, about four hours away from the capital Ankara, was carved bit by bit into the volcanic rock and consists of numerous subterranean settlements connected by tunnels that run for miles, similar to a man-sized ant colony. Parts of the underground network run as deep as 75 meters (250 feet).

According to archaeologists at the Turkish Department of Culture, the first gallery was carved at Derinkuyu during the 8th-7th century BCE by the Phrygians, an ancient Indo-European culture that founded the Anatolian kingdom (12th-7th century BCE). The Phrygians were among the foremost architects of the Iron Age and are known for engaging in complex mega construction projects. Other theories suggest that the underground city was founded by Persians or Hittites.

One of the first possible written accounts describing Derinkuyu is credited to 370 BCE, found in a text written by Xenophon of Athens who, writing in his Anabasis, mentions people in Anatolia had excavated their homes underground. He adds that these underground dwellings were large enough for a family, domestic animals, and supplies of stored food.

Derinkuyu seems to have reached its peak during the Byzantine period. By this time, it grew into an extensive multi-level complex consisting of a labyrinth of tunnels and chambers, covering an area of 445 km2 (172 miles2). It's believed that Derinkuyu's population was as large as 20,000 inhabitants... (MORE - details, images) ...... VIDEO:

Incredible Photographs Inside Derinkuyu, an Ancient Multi-Level Underground City of the Median Empire in Turkey
[Image: derinkuyu-underground-city-1.jpg]