Turkish Archaeological News collects the most important, interesting and inspiring news from Turkish excavation sites. Here's the review for October 2016. Have we missed anything? Let us know by using Contact tab!
The Turkish word Yerkapı, meaning 'the gate in the ground,' quite accurately captures the essence of this part of Hattusa fortifications. It is located inside an artificial embankment that forms the southern tip of the city walls. That embankment is 15 meters high, 250 meters long, and 80 meters wide at its base. Above it, there are city walls, with the access to the city provided by the Sphinx Gate.
In addition to the most famous underground cities of Cappadocia, that is Derinkuyu, Kaymaklı, and Özkonak, this region hides many more such underground settlements. Their exact number remains a mystery, as they are continually being discovered. Not long ago, in 2014, another huge one was accidentally found in the capital city of the Nevşehir Province. Gaziemir belongs to the category of less frequently visited underground cities. It is located near the route connecting the Ihlara Valley with Göreme, situated in the heart of Cappadocia.
The part of Hattusa located at the foot of the Royal Citadel (tr. Büyükkale) is known as the Lower City (tr. Aşağı Şehir). It is also the first stopover on the designated Hattusa sightseeing trail. In this area, it is possible to see the ruins of the Grand Temple, the remains of an Assyrian trade colony, and the traces of residential houses and offices.
The capital of the Hittites - Hattusa - was surrounded by massive fortifications when the Hittite civilization had a status of the Near East superpower. The walls were erected using the natural shape of the terrain or completely changing it, depending on the architectural and strategic needs. At least six gates let people enter the interior of the city. The Lion Gate is the first one that can be seen when following the official sightseeing route around Hattusa.