A huge ancient underground city full of artifacts has been discovered in Mardin, Turkey


Conny Waters – AncientPages.com – Turkey is home to many sophisticated, ancient underground cities, but the exact number remains an open question as several of these subterranean realms have not yet been located.

As just one of many examples, one can mention the Nevsehir Province, Central Anatolia famous for its labyrinth of tunnels, the largest and most complex underground city in the world. The vast labyrinthine network is according to experts likely to be the largest and most complex underground city in the world.

The recent discovery of many artifacts in an ancient underground city in southeastern Mardin province’s Midyat district sheds new light on the history of the region.

Mardin is one of the few cities in the world wherein the entire city has been declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site. This is because just about every inch of the city oozes history and culture, and these lands along the Tigris River have been the crossroads of civilizations since the dawn of civilization itself.

The city’s history goes back at least until the 14th century BC when it was an important spot in the Middle Assyrian Empire and known as Izala, its Persian name.

It has been more or less continuously a cultural hub of the region, and there are traces in the city from Chaldean, Nesturi, Yezidi, Jewish, Kurdish, Muslim, Syriac, Yakubi, Arab, Chechen, Armenian influences, as well as many more obscure religions and ethnicities.

Mardin’s ancient underground city which is called Matiate is remarkable and features places of worship, silos, water wells, and passages with corridors.

While examining the subterranean city archaeologists unearthed many artifacts belonging to the second and third centuries A.D.

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.

Over the years archaeologists have unearthed many remarkable ancient findings in the city of Mardin. Not long ago, scientists discovered ancient mosaics belonging to a 1,600-year-old church in the village of Göktas in the southeastern Mardin province.

Based on archaeological findings so far it’s clear there is still much to discover in this region.

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