Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Massive 'Underground City' Discovered in Cappadoci

The good news is that this appears to be Byzantium in terms of time and place.  Now we need to discover just when they started the building process itself.  That it is not unique tells us that they served a practical purpose likely for defense and may have been surprisingly effective.  After all having hidden sally ports all over the battle field needed for siege works is a pretty good trick and likely to pay off hugely.

What is amazing is that we have no record of all this type of engineering.

Whatever the story is, it made for an effective defense in depth that was kept secret and surely used many times to smash up besieging armies.  After all, a couple hundred men could come up through a basement and immediately secure a perimeter allowing steady reinforcement and forcing the attackers to create their own perimeter and throw twice as many men at the problem.  It is easy to see that this could make a siege untenable..


Massive 'underground city' discovered in Cappadocia 

Posted by TANN

With 2014 soon coming to an end, potentially the year’s biggest archaeological discovery of an underground city has come from Turkey’s Central Anatolian province of Nevşehir [[Cappadocia]], which is known world-wide for its Fairy Chimneys rock formation. An underground city newly discovered in Turkey’s Central Anatolian province of Nevşehir (Cappadocia), which is located under the Nevşehir fortress and the surrounding area, is hailed as the biggest archaeological finding in Turkey during 2014 [Credit: AA] The city was discovered by means of Turkey’s Housing Development Administration’s (TOKİ) urban transformation project. Some 1,500 buildings located in and around the Nevşehir fortress were destroyed, and the underground city was discovered when the earthmoving to construct new buildings had started. TOKİ Head Mehmet Ergün Turan said the area where the discovery was made was announced as an archaeological area to be preserved. “It is not a known underground city. Tunnel passages of seven kilometers are being discussed. We stopped the construction we were planning to do on these areas when an underground city was discovered,” said Turan. The city is ... located around the Nevşehir fortress. Escape galleries and hidden [[Byzantine]] churches were discovered inside the underground city. Stating that they were going to move the urban transformation project to the outskirts of the city, Turan said they had paid 90 million Turkish Liras for the project already, but did not see this as a loss, as this discovery may be the world’s largest underground city. Hasan Ünver, mayor of Nevşehir, said other underground cities in Nevşehir’s various districts do not even amount to the “kitchen” of this new underground city. “The underground city [was found] in the 45 hectares of the total 75 hectare area that is within the [urban] transformation project. We started working in 2012 with the project. We have taken 44 historical objects under preservation. The underground city was discovered when we began the destruction in line with the protocol. The first galleries were spotted in 2013. We applied to the [Cultural and Natural Heritage] Preservation Board and the area was officially registered,” said Ünver. The newly discovered underground city will be the biggest among the other underground cities in Nevşehir that have been discovered so far.

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