Silver Town

Silver Town Date Silver Town Cappadocia
Silver Town
 Fifteen kilometers north of Gülsehir, on the road to Hacibektas, a short earthroad takes the visitor to Gümüşken, an interesting site not even mentioned in the guides. The village is built on what is perhaps a very large subterranean “city”, the deeper galleries of which are filled with groundwater and consequently should be unexplored. The municipality, or the local schoolmaster would cordially assist the interested visitor along the passable galleries. The local school has a small museum exhibiting artifacts discovered in the region.

It is only here that one may see a number of intact pithoi, large terracotta urns of 100 litres each for storing water, wine and grain, still in their original sites, buried in the ground. Speaking of Gümüskent, one may rightly use the term “buried city,” where no excavations have so far been conducted, but thanks to the efforts of the local mayors and teachers even young children are aware of the importance of ancient relics and whatever they find, they deliver to the local museum.

There are three interesting sites in the vicinity, which can all be reached by four-wheel-drive vehicles over bumpy dirt roads. Barely two kilometers distant, a steep hill shows the distinct traces of ancient occupation; its slopes are littered with pottery shards and bits of sun-baked brick of the earliest kind. The remains of a circuit are also discernible and with the presence of a stream it tends to signal the one-time presence of a hilltop fortress, or fortified settlement.

Farther, on the northern extremity of a four-kilometer plain, is a mineral-rich fountain and bath. The water erupts at considerable pressure through a narrow funnel in the bottom of a natural pool, the rock-cut perimeter of which had been fashioned into seats and benches by the Greeks, or Romans who frequented the bath. The pool is open for bathing.

There is no motor road beyond this fountain, but a short walk will take the visitor to an ancient graveyard with some weatherworn headstones still standing. The graves are neither Islamic, nor Roman, or Christian. Their origin is still one of the unresolved riddles of Anatolia.

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