Derinkuyu’s underground city was discovered in the 1960s in Turkey, when a modern house above ground was being renovated. It is just the largest of hundreds of underground complexes built by we’re-not-sure-who-exactly around the eighth century B.C. To understand just what’s so phenomenal about this feat of engineering, imagine someone handing you a hammer and chisel and telling you to go dig out a system of underground chambers capable of sustaining 20,000 people.
The city was probably used as a giant bunker to protect its inhabitants from either war or natural disaster, but its architects were clearly determined to make it the most comfortable doomsday bunker ever. It had access to fresh flowing water — the wells were not connected with the surface to prevent poisoning by crafty land dwellers. It also has individual quarters, shops, communal rooms, tombs, arsenals, livestock, and escape routes. There’s even a school, complete with a study room.
Was this accomplished with the help of the “gods”? Many say yes.