29 September 2022 The Future is the Product of the Past

The excavation, which started in a cave in Turkey’s Mardin, turned into a huge underground city

In an underground city known used as a settlement in the early Christian era, in the Midyat district of Mardin, a large number of artifacts from the 2nd and 3rd centuries were unearthed.

Midyat is approximately 1.5 hours away from Mardin. Midyat, where, rock mansions, gates with arches, Süryani churches with minaret-like ascending gong towers, is reminding a Medieval city.

In the district, a cave was found within the scope of a project started two years ago for cleaning and conservation of the historical streets and houses. After it was determined that the cave is a passage to different places with corridors, excavation works were launched to unearth the underground city.

 Older residents of the area knew about the city but did not know its importance. The underground city covers a large part of the district and is so big archaeologists were not able to uncover all parts of the city.

An interior view from the underground city in Midyat, Mardin, southeastern Turkey. Photo: AA
An interior view from the underground city in Midyat, Mardin, southeastern Turkey. Photo: AA

Historians state in historical sources that Midyat got its name from the word ‘Matiate’ meaning ‘City of Caves’ and that the name ‘Matiate’ was mentioned in Assyrian inscriptions in the 9th century BC.  Probably Midyat’s name is coming from this.

During these excavations, sustained with the cooperation of the Ministry of Culture and Tourism, General Directorate of Cultural Heritage and Museums, Mardin Museum, and Midyat Municipality, places of worship, silos, water wells, and passages with corridors have been unearthed in the underground city. Experts also found many artifacts dating back to the 2 and 3 centuries A.D. in various parts of the city.

A view from the underground city in Midyat, Mardin, southeastern Turkey. Photo: AA
A view from the underground city in Midyat, Mardin, southeastern Turkey. Photo: AA

Gani Tarkan, director of Mardin Museum and head of excavations at Matiate, said that their work will spread to the whole district. Stating that similar examples of underground cities have been found in Anatolia but that Midyat’s underground city has very different characteristics, Tarkan continued: “Matiate has been used uninterruptedly for 1,900 years. It was first built as a hiding place or escape area. As it is known, Christianity was not an official religion in the second century. Families and groups who accepted Christianity generally took shelter in underground cities to escape the persecution of Rome or formed an underground city. Possibly, the underground city of Midyat was one of the living spaces built for this purpose. It is an area where we estimate that at least 60-70,000 people lived underground.”

The underground city of Midyat is still largely unexplored, but initial studies suggest its size and features may rival those of Derinkuyu, the largest excavated underground city in Cappadocia, which could house 20.000 people.

Similar examples of underground cities are found in Anatolia, but Midyat has a very different feature from these. As head of excavations at Matiate Gani Tarkan stated:

“There was no a life above the underground cities in Nevşehir and Kayseri. But he stated that all the structures above the Midyat underground city were registered.”

“Underneath is a different history, a different period, and above it is a different date. While the houses on the top are dated to the 17th, 18th, and 19th centuries, there is a completely different city underneath. That city is 1900 years old,” he added.

It is expected that the number of visitors to the district will significantly increase with the complete unearthing of the underground city.

AA

Banner
Related Post

Turkey discovers 11 new major hills near famed Gobeklitepe “Potbelly Hill”

28 June 2021

28 June 2021

Turkey reported on Sunday the discovery of 11 new hills in the vicinity of the renowned ancient site of Gobeklitepe...

9,300-year-old Gre Filla Mound in southeastern Turkey to be relocated

20 September 2022

20 September 2022

While public criticism continues due to the fact that Gre Filla, known as Diyarbakır’s Göbeklitepe, is under the dam, Diyarbakır...

Lost medieval road thought to have been used by famous Scottish king Robert the Bruce found

27 June 2021

27 June 2021

Excavating a hill considered to have played a critical part in the Battle of Bannockburn, archaeologists discovered a forgotten medieval...

Mysterious Rods Found in 5,500-year-old Tomb identified to Be Earliest Drinking Straws

19 January 2022

19 January 2022

Russian archaeologists argue that the rods unearthed in an early bronze age tomb in the Caucasus are the oldest known...

8000-year-old with balcony architectural structure belonging to the Prehistoric period found in Anatolia

31 October 2021

31 October 2021

During the excavations in Domuztepe mound, it was revealed that an architectural structure thought to be 7-8 thousand years old...

Saudi shipwreck excavation reveals hundreds of 18th-century artifacts on sunken ship in the north Red Sea

25 February 2022

25 February 2022

Divers from Saudi Arabia’s Heritage Authority have discovered a shipwreck in the Red Sea from the 18th century filled with...

Germany: 700-year-old Causeway Found Under Central Berlin Street

19 February 2022

19 February 2022

Archaeologists from the Landesdenkmalamt Berlin (LDA) made a sensational find during their excavation at Molkenmarkt: about 2.50 m below Stralauer...

The Ancient City of Miletos’s “Sacred Cave” Opened to Visitors

2 October 2021

2 October 2021

In the ancient city of Miletos, which had an important place in the advancement of philosophy, art, and science in...

The world’s largest Byzantine winepresses have been discovered in Israel

11 October 2021

11 October 2021

Archaeologists say they’ve discovered the world’s largest known Byzantine-era winery in the city of Yavne, south of Tel Aviv. The...

A first-of-its-kind Ayyanar stone idol found in Vellore, India

25 June 2022

25 June 2022

An Ayyanar stone idol, the first of its kind in Vellore, was discovered at Thandalai Krishnapuram (TK Puram) in Tamil...

New discoveries show that Claros continued to serve as an oracle center after Christianity

14 September 2022

14 September 2022

Game boards and forked cross motifs dating to the fifth and seventh centuries AD were discovered at the ancient Greek...

Fossils of sea creatures 35 million years old discovered in eastern Turkey

17 August 2021

17 August 2021

In Turkey’s eastern province of Mus, a team of researchers discovered fossils of sea creatures estimated to be 35 million...

Archaeologists in Derbyshire have unearthed a 9th century Anglo Saxon house

15 July 2021

15 July 2021

A nearly complete Anglo-Saxon house, considered to date from the early ninth century and might have been the abode of...

An 8,200-year-old temple structure found in Çatalhöyük

6 September 2022

6 September 2022

An 8,200-year-old temple structure was found during the 30th excavation season of the excavations at Çatalhöyük, one of the first...

Iron Lady of The Bronze Age “Puduhepa”

5 May 2021

5 May 2021

Puduhepa is the daughter of a priest and at the same time a priestess who served for the goddess Ishtar. ...

Comments
Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.