3 September 2009

Derinkuyu


My Monday night pub quiz chum - Michael from Oldham - told me about a place in Turkey that I had previously never heard of - Derinkuyu in the Capadocia region. This vast and amazing underground city had been long forgotten until a local resident accidentally rediscovered it in 1963. It seems the city was first carved out of the bedrock between 800 and 700 B.C. for reasons of self-preservation in a time of tribal and religious instability. Archaeologists are still exploring Derinkuyu's eight levels of corridors, homes, kitchens, wells, meeting places, stables and ventilation shafts. They believe that the hand-carved warrens could easily have housed ten thousand people. In a way, it's a bit like JJ at "All Cobblers" ' story of the Terracotta Army in Xian, China - a vast archaeological treasure that had been buried by the sands of time.

What other mysterious treasures remain in a world where we seem to have striven to catalogue everything - photograph everything - as if through that process of recording we can demystify and master our planet? Perhaps I'm a romantic but in many respects I think the original Australian aborigines knew more than we know now. The urge to classify and demystify may be missing the point.

Derinkuyu

5 comments:

  1. As much as I hate to agree with you, you nailed it with the last sentence. Humans have a hard time leaving things alone.

    The aliens, however, are excellent at it. That's why we haven't heard from them.

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  2. Yup, I also wish they'd stop capturing and tagging wildlife so that every "rare" creature on earth has been handled - leave 'em alone! Observe from afar if you must for research (but not if it's duplicating effort), but for goodness sake stop trapping, anaethetising, making holes in, putting collars on and generally fiddling about with wild things.

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  3. They remind me of those structures Roger Dean used to paint on the covers of early 70s Yes albums.

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  4. BRAD - As always, I am honoured to be visited by such a blogosphere legend and delighted that our thoughts concur.
    MOPSA - You're right. Is there an animal in the Serengeti that hasn't bneen filmed, documented or tagged? Doubt it.
    STEVE Im not sure which "Yes" album you're thinking of but the structures do seem to belong more to the realm of fantasy than to everyday reality.

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  5. Once more I learn something completely new. And I don't know much about our Aborigines either!

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