In what could be the largest-ever discovery of its kind, Turkish developers say they have uncovered a previously unknown underground city beneath the city of Nevşehir in Turkey’s central Anatolian province.
Turkey’s Housing Development Administration was in the process of deconstructing old buildings as part of an urban transformation project when they unearthed the estimated 5,000-year-old ancient civilization that some are now calling the world's largest underground city found to date, the Hurriyet Daily News reported Sunday.
Nevşehir Mayor Hasan Ünver said underground cities previously discovered in the region aren't even the size of the "kitchen" in the latest find. Mehmet Ergün Turan, head of the Middle Eastern country's Housing Development Administration, said the area is now an archaeological area that will be preserved.
Turan said the development project in the area was halted after the discovery. Tunnels of up to 7 kilometers, or about 4.3 miles, are "being discussed" for further exploration into what else might lie inside the the city beneath the city. So far, officials have only found escape galleries and churches.
The mayor said crews have found more than 40 historical objects since the project began in 2012. The first galleries were reported in 2013 but only recently did developers realize what they were looking at was potentially the largest archaeological find in decades, if not ever.
The area has been registered with Turkey's Cultural and Natural Heritage Preservation Board.
(H/T: Hurriyet Daily News)
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