Man chasing chicken stumbled upon ancient underground city once home to 20,000 people
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A man who was looking to find his chickens accidentally stumbled across an ancient city that was once home to 20,000 people.
There’s a lot to unpack there, but just for a second try to understand what it must have been like for the Turkish bloke who this actually happened to.
The man kept noticing that his chickens were going missing, and his search for them found him looking into the basement, but instead of his chickens, he found the ancient city of Elengubu, which had previously been lost.
The chickens – it turned out – were going through a hole in the wall at the bottom of the anonymous man’s house.
So, he set about knocking it down, discovering a tunnel on the other side, which took him through to another end, where a remarkable historical find waited for him.
This took place back in 1963, and while we don’t know exactly what happened to the chickens – though we can realistically fear the worst at this point – we do know what happened to the city of Elengubu.
Nowadays, it’s called Derinkuyu and it sits around 280 feet beneath the ground in Cappadocia.
It’s believed to be the largest underground city that has ever been excavated, and could have been home to as many as 20,000 people on the two levels.
There’s public areas, homes, schools, a church, and just about everything you’d need for your underground city.
Since Derinkuyu was discovered, they’ve also found 200 smaller cities around that area, although there’s still a lot to be excavated.
They’ve only gone through around 40 metres of it so far.
The city seems to date back to between the 15th century BCE and the seventh century BCE, according to experts Made In Turkey.
They said: “Despite the disagreement on the architects of the town, there is a general consensus that the underground metropolis served to hide its inhabitants from their enemies.
“This purpose was especially crucial during the Byzantine period when Christians were fleeing from their Roman persecutors.
“When the Christians got to Cappadocia and discovered the city, they expanded and modified its existing structures by adding churches, schools, wineries, and other chambers that suited their needs.
“It is estimated that Derinkuyu could sustain up to 20,000 inhabitants and their animals at a go.”
That use could have continued until the early 1920s, until Christians in that area were forced to move to Greece.
Eventually, the idea is that the area will be opened to tourists.
Hopefully they’ll find some more fascinating stuff down there as the excavation continues.