Numerous ancient underground chambers found within a cave system

After shepherds and local residents reported about a cave in Belağası in the Gesi district of Kayseri, central Turkey, archaeologists discovered an ancient underground city with 52 chambers.

Entrance to one of the chambers (by AA Photo)

Scientists conducting research of the area since 2014, managed to make an inventory of the underground city, discovering the system of chambers is about 80-metres long. Underground cities were built by ancient peoples as a means to seek refuge from invasions. They offered living space, transportation, food storage, drainage and more. Archaeologists discovered a church and various structures on the surface of the mountain around the underground city. It is believed that the complex might be the first of its kind in Turkey to have more than 50 chambers. The number of chambers is thought to have increased in line with the demands of ancient inhabitants living in the city. The ancient underground city is reportedly different from its counterparts in nearby Nevşehir province, which is home to the ancient cities of Cappadocia (Kaymaklı and Derinkuyu), as Belağası was built in a horizontal manner – a common feature among underground cities in Kayseri province.

Overview of the underground city (by AA Photo)

(after Daily Sabah & AA Photo)

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