This man in Turkey was working on repairing his house during our conversation. The biggest network of underground tunnels in the world is located in an unexpected place. But this is exactly what transpired with the individual in question; he made the astounding discovery of a long-forgotten realm directly beyond the wall of his home.
In 1963, this man was excavating a portion of a stone wall in a region of Turkey called “Cappadocia.” He was doing so in order to make room for an addition to his home, but he was taken aback when he discovered that there was space behind the wall. This man was located almost exactly in the geographic center of Turkey. More than a hundred and fifty thousand square feet of space!! He had stumbled into one of the most extensive subterranean structures that had ever been found.
It was startling how large his house was, although Cappadocia was already widely known for its underground residences. Over 200 underground “towns, villages, and hamlets” of varied sizes are reported to exist in the region. The vast majority of archaeologists are of the opinion that the caves were initially excavated by the Phrygian people, also known as the sea people, who are described in ancient literature as having invaded the Aegean and Turkish region from the west about the 7th or 8th centuries BC.
There are numerous compelling arguments in favor of developing an underground metropolis. Along the same lines as defense, protection from the elements was also an important component. The availability of water was also a factor. Rivers and lakes are drying up, giving your enemy the ability to control the water sources and bring your people under their rule. There was no wind, there was no rain or snow, and of course, there was protection against the scorching sun of the Mediterranean.
The entrances were either very high up or tucked away in discrete locations. The passageways, including the tunnels and stairways, are barely large enough to accommodate one adult at a time. In the passageways, the enemy warriors could only engage in one-on-one combat with each other. The warriors had to be pushed back in order to extinguish the oil lamps that illuminated the corridors, staircases, and homes. The residents of the complex are the only ones who are aware of the dead ends. It was possible to roll up large stones and impede any further advancement with them. These caves served both as a place of sanctuary and a point of defense during the time of the Ottoman Empire and the initial Turkish invasions in the 10th century.
Today, several of these cities and villages are considered national treasures in Turkey because they are available to the public and are located beneath.