This is the Derinkuyu multi-leveled subterranean ancient city in the Derinkuyu district of Nevşehir Province, Turkey (Ancient Cappadocia region). The tunnel complex was discovered by a resident in 1963 when he found a mysterious room behind his home wall. According to a theory, the caves may first have been built by the Phrygians, an ancient Indo-European people native to central Anatolia (Turkey), in the 7th-8th centuries B.C. In the Cappadocian region of central Turkey, ancient underground cities is not a completely rare phenomenon; Derinkuyu, for example, is connected to the underground city of Kaymakli via an 8 kilometer tunnel. It is estimated that, during its prime, Derinkuyu could house up to 20,000 people, and reached as deep as 60 metres.

Cappadocia’s 11,000-year-old settlement thrills experts

Professor Mihriban Özbaşaran from İstanbul University, the current head of the excavation and research project at Aşıklı Höyük, was a doctoral student when excavations at the site in the Cappadocia region of Central Anatolia began in 1989.

Her enthusiasm about Aşıklı Höyük appears to still be very strong, even after 25 years at the site, as the pleasure she takes from accompanying and briefing a group of journalists is very discernible. She hopes their visit will shine a spotlight on Aşıklı Höyük, which has been overshadowed by the popularity of archaeological sites such as Göbeklitepe and Çatalhöyük. Yet with its inhabited history dating back to 9000 B.C., Aşıklı Höyük is 1,000 years older than the Çatalhöyük settlement on the Konya plain and as the earliest village settlement founded in the Cappadocia region, the site is no less important. Read more.