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How mysterious flooding led to the discovery of a 5,000-year-old underwater city

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Paula Sánchez
Content Manager at iAgua and Smart Water Magazine Sometimes I write.

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  • How mysterious flooding led to the discovery of 5,000-year-old underwater city

Complaints about leaks from neighbours in the Cappadocia, Turkey, revealed a surprising finding last June: a 5,000-year-old city submerged under water.

The discovery was almost accidental, as residents of Calis, city located in central Turkey where the sighting was found, complained to the local municipality about water leaks in their houses, most of these single-storey and contiguous.

While looking for the cause of the flooding in the households, the local authorities, according to the Turkish Daily Sabah, found a closed entrance to a tunnel. As they made their way into the underpass, the workers and residents stumbled upon the remains of an old settlement, just underneath the flood-affected houses.

The three-level underground town was around five kilometres long and was made up of numerous dwellings, tunnels and places of worship. The local media confirmed that the site had actually been discovered for the first time 25 years ago, when a child fell into the tunnel and the residents of Calis decided to cover the entrance to avoid accidents.

The underwater city then fell into oblivion, but according to the locals, many foreigners visiting Calis had been looking for this forgotten archaeological site stating that on their maps, the location was considered a source of "healing water” and “Ceasar’s bath.”

However, this is not the first time that Turkey has unearthed a submerged city. Just 80 km from Calis lie the famous underground cities of Cappadocia, Kaymakli and Derinkuyu.

The long-lost site will remain closed for the time being to continue the research and reveal its origins and exact dimensions, although the technical analysis by archaeologists has already indicated that the ruins are at least 5,000 years old.

Now, the Association for the Protection of Cultural Heritage will be in charge of registering the site as a historical site and will request the help of the Ministry of Culture to open the underground city to tourism as it did with other similar ones.

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