Who Built the Enigmatic Ancient Underground City of Derinkuyu, and Why?


In the realm of historical mysteries, few enigmas captivate our imagination quite like the ancient caves and tunnels discovered beneath the ancient site of Gobekli Tepe. This intriguing subterranean network, featured in Season 12, Episode 16 of “Ancient Aliens” on History, unveils a labyrinthine world hidden beneath the Turkish soil, waiting to be explored. In this article, we will delve deep into the depths of history and unearth the secrets of this subterranean marvel.

A Mysterious Discovery

On December 28, 2014, approximately 300 miles from the ancient Gobekli Tepe site, a crew working on an urban renovation project stumbled upon something extraordinary. Beneath the Earth’s surface, they discovered a series of intricately carved rooms and tunnels, reminiscent of the nearby Derinkuyu caves. As their exploration deepened, it became evident that this subterranean network spanned several miles and extended hundreds of feet below the surface.

Subterranean Network Beneath Gobekli Tepe

Renowned author and researcher Andrew Collins granted access to the site in June 2017, described the sheer size of some of these subterranean chambers as awe-inspiring. One particular room, measuring 120 feet in length, was just one of the many similar spaces found within this underground complex.

The Astonishing Scale

What truly boggles the mind is the colossal effort it must have taken to create this subterranean city. Archaeologists estimate that more than 5 million square feet of rock, equivalent to over 370 Olympic-sized swimming pools, was excavated to carve out this intricate underground labyrinth. Astonishingly, there is little to no evidence of the extracted material in the surrounding area. It raises the question: who were the masterminds behind this herculean endeavor, and what was its purpose?

A Hidden Population

One of the most astonishing revelations about this underground world is that it once housed a significant population. Evidence suggests that as many as 20,000 to 60,000 people could have lived here simultaneously. These ancient inhabitants didn’t merely survive; they thrived. Air vents and water wells were strategically designed to ensure that life underground could be sustained for extended periods.

Air vents, carved deeply into the rock, ensured a continuous flow of fresh air, making the subterranean city habitable. Water wells provided a crucial resource for the underground population, enabling them to access clean water even while hidden below the Earth’s surface.

The Ingenious Self-Sealing Doors

Another perplexing feature of this underground world is the self-sealing doors. These massive stone wheels, crafted from volcanic rock known as basalt, served as formidable barriers. When rolled into position, they securely locked the entrance, preventing unauthorized access. The question arises: why would such elaborate defensive mechanisms be necessary in a seemingly peaceful underground city?

A Shifting Timeline

Initially believed to be approximately 1,500 years old and used by early Christians as a refuge from persecution, the subterranean network’s true age is now a subject of debate. Paleolithic tools dating back at least 10,000 to 12,000 years, and possibly even earlier, have been discovered within the site. This revelation challenges our understanding of history, suggesting that this underground world may have served various purposes over millennia.


The ancient subterranean network beneath Gobekli Tepe stands as a testament to human ingenuity and endurance. Its mysterious origins, colossal scale, and shifting timeline continue to perplex researchers and ignite our curiosity. As excavation efforts persist, we can only imagine what other secrets may lie hidden beneath the Turkish soil, waiting for intrepid explorers to unveil the truth. Ancient aliens or not, one thing is clear: the subterranean world of Gobekli Tepe is a treasure trove of enigmas waiting to be solved.


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