The recent discovery of a vast expanse of caves that lie hidden underneath the region of Cappadocia in central Turkey has revealed over 250 honeycombed networks of human-created underground towns and cities.
Very little is known about the history of the area, some of the caves date back to 1200 BC leaving people to question why the people of Cappadocia went to such extreme efforts to conceal themselves underground. It is widely agreed that the caves weren’t permanent residencies but vast places in which citizens could take refuge when the cities above ground were under threat. When danger came, large round stones were used to block the access tunnels to the caves, sealing the residents in, away from the danger above ground.
Inside, they had everything they would require to live relatively comfortably for extended periods of time. These multilevel settlements had kitchens, wells, living spaces, wineries, chapels, staircases, air shafts and even had areas in which supplies and livestock could be kept. In 2014, what is believed to be the largest multi-level cave settlement in the region was discovered. A survey of this 1.5-mile area was done by Geophysicists from Nevşehir University, using geophysical resistivity and seismic tomography they estimated that the site is nearly five million square feet, plunging up to 371 feet below ground. This discovery is far larger than Derinkuyu which is currently the largest excavated city in Cappadocia and capable of holding up to 20,000 people.
During these initial excavations, a set of unusual tools were discovered deep within the tunnel complex. Bearing some resemblance to modern tools, these ceramic objects have no obvious function but are believed to have been extremely useful to the subterranean inhabitants.
Archaeologists and Anthropologists struggled to identify uses for such unusual tools therefore the search for their function was opened up to the public to help demystify the objects.