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Archaeologists discover what could be the largest underground city ever built

Archaeologists discover what could be the largest underground city ever built

The region of Cappadocia in central Turkey (pictured below) is no stranger to massive and intricate underground cities. Beneath the 100-square-mile World Heritage site are more than 200 underground villages and tunnel towns. The rocky region is most famous for Derinkuyu, an ancient subterranean city that was home to as many as 20,000 residents in the Byzantine era. The multi-level town incorporated areas for sleeping, livestock, working wells and water tanks, pits for cooking, food stores, bathrooms, ventilation shafts, and even tombs to bury the dead. Impressive, right?

Well, archaeologists believe the new discovery could actually surpass Derinkuyu in both size and scope, setting the site up to be the largest subterranean city in the world. Archaeologists first spotted the site in 2013 during construction for an urban transformation project. Details about the new discovery have yet to be revealed, but early reports claim the site consists of at least 3.5 miles of tunnels, hidden churches, and escape galleries that date back at least 5,000 years. Researchers have reportedly retrieved more than 40 artifacts from the tunnels. Local media are calling the site the "biggest archeological finding of 2014." --Lauren Hansen

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