Sometimes, you encounter things in the water that truly surprise you. Some people have found bottle mail, gold coins and even entire cars in a lake or an ocean. However, scientists have now discovered something in a lake in Turkey that surpasses all previous discoveries.
The discovery was made in the far eastern region of the country, near Iran. The lake is a tourist attraction that benefits the town greatly. But who would have thought that below the lake, something far more interesting was hiding. Read on on the next pages to learn more about this fascinating and ancient place!
Little to Find
The discovery was done by divers from the Van Yüzüncü Yil University and a team of independent divers. The find is quite extraordinary, especially since it was hidden for so long.
Even just before the expedition underwater, the diving team was warned by archaeologists familiar with the area that going diving in the lake was pointless, as there was little to find there. Even so, the team decided to head out anyway, as there were local rumours that something was hidden in the depths of the lake.
A Lot to Cover
Even though there was supposed to be ‘nothing to find’ in the lake, the area the divers were going to search was quite large. According to one of the researchers, the archaeological site spanned roughly a kilometer.
As such, it would not be easy to find what they were looking for. Still, after a long and hard search, they were able to uncover something extraordinary. Read on to find out what it is!
An Old Castle
After searching long and hard, the divers found what had already been rumoured to be in the lake for the longest time. The researchers found an entire castle underwater! The visible sections of the walls of the fortress ranged in size from 10 to 13 feet.
In a video shown by one of the divers, we can see large stones stacked together like fragments of a brick wall. These structures range from loose piles of stone to smooth square walls. What could be the story behind this mysterious castle that was hidden underwater for unknown reasons?
3000 Years Old
Based on visual assessments, the team of divers estimated the remains to be roughly 3000 years old. This might connect the structure to the region’s Iron Age Urartian period. Urartu was an ancient nation that spanned modern day Turkey, Iran and Armenia.
According to the Met’s Department of Near Eastern Art, Lake Van was a hub for the ancient society. A rock inscription, the oldest documented Urartian record, can be found in Van. But how did this ancient castle end up at the bottom of a lake?
Rising Water Levels
Now, one question remains: why on earth was a huge castle located at the bottom of a lake? Many of us likely immediately think of underwater civilisations, but sadly, the true answer is not as exciting.
The archaeologists believe that the rising lake levels are to blame. As the water level slowly rose, it began submerging parts of the city over time. Some large village ruins from this period can still be found around the lake’s edges, so it’s not a stretch to think that some other parts were completely submerged.
After solving this ancient mystery, the question is what the researchers are going to do with their discovery. Surprisingly, they aren’t satisfied with their discovery just yet. Archaeologists and divers plan to continue exploring the lake to learn more about this 3000-year old castle, as some doubts still remain about this castle.
It is speculated, for instance, that some of the Urartian remains were actually reused to build a castle in the middle ages. In any case, more research is needed to truly uncover all the mysteries that this underwater construction is hiding.