Ancient canal found in western Turkey
In the ancient city of Tabae, which hosted many civilizations from prehistory until the 1950s as it has a natural fortress structure on the rocks, a 2,000-year-old canal has been discovered during studies launched after allegations that there was an underground city.
Speaking to the state-run Anadolu Agency, the head of Tabae excavations and Pamukkale University (PAU) member Associate Professor Mustafa Beyazıt said that the ancient city was home to the structures from the Hellenistic, Roman, Byzantine, Ottoman and the Republic periods, and there had been settlements in the city since the Bronze Age.
Beyazıt said that there were claims that there was an underground city hidden in Tabae and because of these claims, treasure hunters carried out illegal excavations there. “So, in order to clear up these claims, we formed a team and kicked off excavations,” he said.
As a result of the excavations in the city, they identified a 114-meter-long and four to five-meter-wide canal, said Beyazıt.
“In the canal, a person of 1.60-meter-high can easily walk. The purpose of the construction of this place is again hidden in the name of the city of Tabae. Taba means ‘bedrock.’ Just below the bedrock there is a siliceous soil structure that flows like mud when it sees water. Therefore, in every rainfall, the rocks break down with the ground water and cause landslides. People noticed this 2,000 years ago and chose to collect the water in certain centers and drain them out of the city with canals. This is probably a canal that has been in use since the Roman Empire.”
Beyazıt stated that the canals, aiming to prevent the city from shrinking as a result of rock breaks, are surrounding the entire city and this is a serious engineering project. He said that the canals were opened by people with iron stakes and hammers, and that the small size of stalactites draw attention in the canal.
Beyazıt stated that the cross mark on a water source they identified in the channel also shows that this source was attributed to the sanctity.
He said that a project has been prepared to open the canal for tourism and that they will provide water mobility again in the canal.
Beyazıt, who stated that the works carried out with geologists revealed that the canal was safe, adding, “We plan to create a travel route where people can walk through this channel. We believe that we can do this with support. The canal will be enlightened with solar power and we hope that this place will be one of the stops for people who want to see such beauty on the Denizli-Muğla road.”