Archeology

A Mysterious 3,000-Year-Old Castle Found Hidden Under a Lake in Turkey

Sometimes legends can be true.

The real thing hiding deep within Lake Van in Turkey has been found by archaeologists, although sunken cities are usually the stuff of legend.

After 10 years of searching the 2nd biggest lake in the Middle East, the home of a lost kingdom has been found several hundred meters beneath the lake’s surface.

Van Yüzüncü Yil University archaeologists declared the unbelievable discovery – that a huge 3,000-year-old castle maintained deep inside the lake in excellent condition. The researchers worked closely with an independent team of divers to locate their prize.

Lost underwater castles and cities are a well-liked motif in folklore and local legends all over the world. Actually, so are stories of ancient lost creatures hiding in deep lakes.

The head of the diving team on the project, Tahsin Ceylan, first came in to explore the Lake Van Dragon, however, discovered a lost city instead.

“There was a rumour that there may be something under the water but most museum officials and archaeologists told us that we will not find anything,” he informed Daily Sabah.

The castle crosses about a kilometer with walls standing as high as 3 or 4 meters, maintained by the alkaline waters of this lake in good condition.

The researchers think it is a relic from Iron age of the lost Urartu civilization also known as the Kingdom of Van, which flourished in the region between the 9th and the 6th centuries BCE.

The water level of this lake has fluctuated quite drastically over the centuries, and the researchers think that the level was much lower at the height of the Urartian society than it’s now, slowly rising as time goes by to cover parts of the city.

Additional parts of the ancient settlement are much higher, even at a higher level of the present shoreline, and are the main topic of ongoing archaeological study.

“Many civilizations and people called the lake the ‘upper sea’ and believed it had lots of enigmatic things. With this notion in mind, we’re attempting to reveal the lake’s ‘secrets’,” Ceylan said.

The work is slowly answering the purpose. This past year the group additionally found a four-kilometer-square field of stalagmites they name “fairy chimneys” under the lake, also Seljuk-era gravestones, several 1000 years ago.

Earlier this year they reported the discovery of a Russian ship believed to have sunk during a storm in 1948.

The team has been unable to ascertain how deeply the walls have been buried under the sediment on the lake floor, and more field work below the top of Lake Van will be required to learn more concerning the structure – and hopefully, the individuals who lived within.

“It’s miracle to find this castle submerged. Archaeologists should come here in order to examine the castle’s history and supply information on it,” Ceylan said.

“We’ve discovered the castle exact spot and photographed it and also have made progress in our research. We believe we have discovered a new region for historians and archaeologists to study.”

 

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