10 Ancient Underground Discoveries
- Added: Year ago
- Underneath your feet could be mysterious and ancients artifacts waiting to be discovered like the catacombs found under Paris!
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# 6 Catacombs of France
Beneath Paris, there are ancient, centuries old tunnels that are filled with millions of dead bodies. In the 13th century, Paris was mainly a limestone mining town which led to it becoming the thriving and cultural mecca it is today. In the 1700s, Paris became over saturated with the dead. Enough people had lived and died in the city that the largest cemetery in the city reeked of rotting flesh. Sometimes, corpses would even become exposed when heavy winds eroded the topsoil of their burial grounds. The solution to all these dead bodies? Storing them all in the hundreds of year old limestone quarries beneath the city. Now, the remains of more than 6 million people lie in what is now known as the Catacombs of Paris. A small portion of this Empire of the Dead can be explored by tourists, but the majority of the tunnels are illegal to visit.
# 5 Wieliczka Salt Mine
A huge deposit of rock salt beneath Wieliczka in Poland has been mined for 800 years. Although it was just meant to be a simple mine for all these years, the workers in the quarry did much more than just excavate salt. For hundreds of years miners left behind a legacy. They carved statues, carved religious art into the walls, and even built a cathedral completely made of salt. The salt mine was never open to tourists until much recently - and even though the current guided tour covers 2 and a half miles, the majority of the mines is closed off to the public.
# 4 Derinkuyu Underground City
Derinkuyu Underground City is one of the first underground dwellings discovered in Turkey which is rich with subterranean shelters. These underground cities were used by citizens when they were under attack and needed to find refuge or protection. The caverns have multiple ventilation shaft that doubled as a well that provided air for the people inside the cave and water for both the underground dwellers and people above ground. The Derinkuyu complex has amenities like places for education, prayer, storage and even stables. There are even miles long tunnels that connect the Derinkuyu complex with other underground cities found around Turkey.
# 3 Cappadocian Underground City
Nevsehir is a city in the Cappadocia region of Turkey that is built around a castle on top of a hill. In 2014, the team behind a Housing Project in the city was busy razing low-income housing that surround the castle when they uncovered a the entrances to a bunch of strange caves. The caves lead to long winding tunnels that never seemed to end. What they found was incredible: an entire underground city beneath Nevsehir. The Cappadocian Underground City goes down at least 371 feet below ground and it is estimated to be nearly 5 million square feet big and enough space to comfortably house 20,000 people. This makes it the biggest underground dwelling in the whole world, trumping previous discoveries of underground cities by a landslide. The whole cave city is at least a few centuries old and is full of antiques and pieces of archaeology that have yet to be found. It was once believed that these caverns were used as temporary refuge when the city was being attacked, but new research may suggest that people actually lived in these caves permanently.
# 2 Milk Grotto Chapel
Nearby the Nativity Square in Bethlehem is the Milk Grotto Chapel. It is a chapel built into a natural rock formation and is part man-made construction and partly underground cavern. According to many Christian and Muslim traditions, this is the spot where the Holy Family hid from prosecution and where Mary nursed baby Jesus. Since its discovery, couples have come to this underground chapel to take powder made from the rock inside the cave. Why? They believe that Virgin Mary blessed the limestone in the area and turned it into soft white, calcium rich mineral. They believe consuming part of the rock where Mary nursed Jesus will help them conceive a healthy baby.
# 1 Ancient Art Sanctuary
A giant trove of Paleolithic era cave art was found in Spain. Most cave art isn’t as perilous to get to as this cave that’s more than 1,000 feet underground. The cave drawings found in the Atxurra cave is one of the biggest finds ever. There are at least 70 drawings in the Atxurra and they are more detailed and varied than any other collection of cave drawings found. Among the 70 plus etchings into the wall are drawings of horses, buffalo, goats, and deer that date back 12,500 - 14,500 years. Experts say that because of the sheer amount of drawings found, this cave could have served as a sanctuary or meeting ground for the Paleolithic humans.
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