NEW YORK – Archaeologists are exploring a sprawling network of tunnels and underground rooms discovered beneath a Byzantine-era fortress in Nevşehir, Turkey.

According to the Washington Post, a recently discovered underground city buried deep inside a hilltop may put it to shame. And this one was discovered completely by accident.

“This new discovery will be added as a new pearl, a new diamond, a new gold” to the wonders of the region, the mayor of nearby Nevsehir, Hasan Unver, told National Geographic. “When the underground city beneath Nevsehir Castle is completely revealed, it is almost certain to change the destination of Cappadocia dramatically.”

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The complex dates back about 5,000 years, and is all the more incredible for being found by mere happenstance. Years ago, the government issued an edict to demolish about 1,500 buildings in the area as part of an urban renewal project, according to the Hurriyet Daily News. Then, while workers were shifting around piles of earth in 2012 to start building, they stumbled across a vast labyrinthine network that early estimates say could be one-third larger than Derinkuyu.

“It is not a known underground city,” the head of Turkey’s Housing Development Administration told the Daily News. “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.”

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Inside the Mysterious Underground City That's 5,000 Years Old A view of the underground city newly discovered in Turkey's Central Anatolian province of Nevsehir is seen in this Dec. 28, 2014 file photo.

Inside the Mysterious Underground City That’s 5,000 Years Old
A view of the underground city newly discovered in Turkey’s Central Anatolian province of Nevsehir is seen in this Dec. 28, 2014 file photo.

Right away, Mayor Unver was salivating over what this underground city could mean. He told the Daily News those other underground cities wouldn’t even be a “kitchen” in this underground city. He said the whole thing came in at more than 100 acres, which was more than half the area plotted for the “transformation project.”

Inside, they found an underground ecosystem that could have sustained thousands of people, replete with air shafts and water channels. Locals likely retreated to its depths, experts suspect, whenever armies or invaders approached during those turbulent times, and waited out the danger like a turtle in its shell.

Turkey’s Cappadocia region is famous for its subterranean safe houses carved from tuff—a light, porous rock composed of volcanic ash.  PHOTOGRAPH BY MURAT KAYA, ANADOLU AGENCY/GETTY

Turkey’s Cappadocia region is famous for its subterranean safe houses carved from tuff—a light, porous rock composed of volcanic ash.
PHOTOGRAPH BY MURAT KAYA, ANADOLU AGENCY/GETTY

Source:

Underground city discovered Turkey
http://www.newser.com/story/204596/found-in-turkey-huge-underground-city.html