Massive Ancient Underground City Once Housed 20,000 People

Discovering ancient cities is always fascinating and archaeologists have the front seats at these exciting events. But how would it be to discover the remains of an ancient city just below your house? In 1963 a Turkish man made such an incredible discovery after knocking down a basement wall and stumbling upon the remains of the old city named Derinkuyu.
This is thought to have been among the largest underground cities that ever existed, and could host up to 20,000 people. Derinkuyu can be found in the Cappadocia region and was carved directly into volcanic rock, which means it had a lot of tunnels and hidden underground passages.
One of the most impressive facts about this ancient city is that it lies 250 feet under the surface of the Earth. The city of Derinkuyu was formed after a volcanic eruption, which resulted in layers of ash that formed the rock from which the city was carved. After experimenting with carvings on the surface, the inhabitants of the region started carving underground tunnels and dwellings. Derinkuyu reached its final form in the 15th century BCE.

The oldest written source about underground structures is the writings of Xenophon. In his Anabasis he writes that the people living in Anatolia had excavated their houses underground, living well in accommodations large enough for the family, domestic animals, and supplies of stored food.The first two floors of the Derinkuyu Underground City have been dated to this early period.

Rolling stone door in the underground town of Derinkuyu, Cappadocia, Turkey

An artistic map of Derinkuyu, showing only some of the many levels of the complex. Haeun Church.

Tourist map of Derinkuyu Underground 

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