Archaeologists uncovered thousands of Stone Age underground tunnels, stretching across Europe from Scotland to Turkey, perplexing researchers as to their original purpose.
German archaeologist Dr Heinrich Kusch, in his book ‘Secrets of the Underground Door to an Ancient World’ (Original title in German: “Tore zur Unterwelt: Das Geheimnis der unterirdischen Gänge aus uralter Zeit …”) revealed that tunnels were dug under literally hundreds of Neolithic settlements all over Europe and the fact that so many tunnels have survived 12,000 years indicates that the original networks must have been huge.
‘In Bavaria in Germany alone we have found 700 metres of these underground tunnel networks. In Styria in Austria we have found 350 metres,’ he said. ‘Across Europe there were thousands of them – from the north in Scotland down to the Mediterranean.
The tunnels are quite small, measuring only 70cm in width, which is just enough for a person to crawl through. In some places there are small rooms, storage chambers and seating areas.
While many believe Stone Age humans were primitive, incredible discoveries such as the 12,000 year-old temple called Gobekli Tepe in Turkey and Stonehenge in England – which demonstrate advanced astronomical knowledge – indicate that they were not as primitive as many believe.
The discovery of a vast network of tunnels suggests that Stone Age humans were not just spending their days hunting and gathering. However, the real purpose of the tunnels is still a matter of speculation. Some experts believe they were a way of protecting man from predators while others believe they were a way for people to travel safely, sheltered from harsh weather conditions or even wars and violence. However, at this stage scientists are only able to guess, as the tunnels have not yet revealed all their secrets of the past.
Underground structures even whole cities have always been part of most of the world’s myths and religions. A few have been discovered but most of them have not. Side by side with the stories about underground structures, we have underground networks and tunnels connecting different places and sometimes extending for many kilometres and even between different countries.
In this article we will explore the myths and legends from all over the world that refer to underground cities and tunnels as well as what archaeologists and researchers have found and how these findings may be connected to such stories.
Underground Networks and Cities in Myths and Legends
According to mythological traditions, underground sites were mostly referred to as entrances to the underworld and we find such references all around the world. Although most of us think of the ‘underworld’ as a representation of ‘hell’ and therefore an imaginary or spiritual place for ‘bad’ people, in reality in ancient religions that wasn’t the case. The underworld was a place where the dead would go, but it was a place with physical entrances, guards, buildings and cities, and a place that a few mortals could visit and even communicate with the dead souls, gods, kings or the armies of the underworld. In a few cases though, according to the legends, they could even resurrect a dead person.
One of the most famous underground cities is the city of Agartha, a legendary city that is supposed to be in the centre of the Earth, the Earth’s Core. Central Asia is the origin of those legends and the race inhabiting this underground realm was called the Agharti. Theosophists refer to Agartha as a vast complex of caves and an underground network that was inhabited by the Asuras (evil demons) and enemies of the Gods. This underground network was supposedly made by man.
In Hindu mythology there are legends of a race called the Nagas, serpent like intelligent creatures with human faces that live in underground caverns. Those creatures are described as ‘children of Gods’ – immortal and able to fly – who got married with human kings and queens and supposedly spiritually advanced. Similarly, in Chinese legends dragons are not the ugly flying beasts that we believe today, but wise creature that would be mentors of kings and creators of kingdoms. Many Tibetans are mentioned to have entered those caves of the Nagas that expand miles and miles inside the mountains of Asia.
What is interesting is that a strange light emanates in those underground realms which has also been mentioned as the hollow earth inner sun. So the underground cities are not in dark as we would believe. Some of those realms now are inside Earth while in the past they used to be on the surface but were forced to move inside Earth due to circumstances like attacks or maybe even climate change.
Shambhala (a Sanskrit word meaning ‘place of peace’) is another famous holy place that for some is supposed to be a spiritual ‘paradise’, but for others it is suggested to be a real underground city with references of people that have actually visited it. Legends mention that the King of Shambhala travelled to Indi to meet Buddha and listen to his teachings. One major difference with Shambhala is that it is supposed to be a holy place in comparison to Agartha, which is a place of demons. According to Helena Blavatsky, Shambhala is located in the Gobi Desert.
On the other side of Earth, in America we have the legend of Akakor, a legend that the latest adventure of Indiana Jones and the Crystal Skulls was based on. Tatunca Nara, an Amazon jungle guide, claims to have seen the city and described not only the city but also the chronicles of the underground kingdom. According to that legend ‘Gods’ came from a solar system known as ‘Schwerta’ and built an underground tunnel system in South America. This civilization left 13 underground cities in South America in the jungles of Amazon, yet to be found.
In the Mayan mythology we have the mythical underground city of Xibalba, ‘the land that the sun goes down into’ which was inhabited by superheroes and Gods, a civilization that supposedly vanished around the Middle Ages. The entrance to this world was thought to be located in Guatemala and description of the structures and locations within Xibalba are described in Popol Vuh.
In Greece, we have the myths of Hades and the Underworld, a realm where gods and heroes lived. God Pluto was the God of the Underworld which had many different sections including the Elysium and Tartarus.
In Irish legends we hear about the people named Tuatha De Danaan (People of the Goddess Danu), a race who moved underground when another race arrived on the island. According to the legends they came to Ireland in ‘dark clouds’ and landed on the mountains of Ireland. Those people in today’s myths are referred to as fairies.
In one of the Irish poems it is said about these people:
It is God who suffered them, though He restrained them
they landed with horror, with lofty deed,
in their cloud of mighty combat of spectres,
upon a mountain of Conmaicne of Connacht.
Without distinction to descerning Ireland,
Without ships, a ruthless course
the truth was not known beneath the sky of stars,
whether they were of heaven or of earth.
In Norwegian legends we have the Dwarves, beings of the underground associated with craftsmanship. Different races of Dwarves that were the ones that supplied the Gods with weapons.
In Egypt, we have references of the historians Herodotus and Strabo of a colossal underground temple that contained 3,000 rooms full of paintings and hieroglyphs, a lost labyrinth yet to be found.
There are many accounts of people that have accessed this underground realm which includes not only mythological accounts but accounts from recent history. It is also written in documents that Hitler and the Nazis discovered an entrance to the interior of Earth in Antarctica. The Nazi’s believed that a civilization lives inside Earth, the ‘super humans’. Some believe that the Nazi’s were in contact with them and in fact they were directing them and even sharing technology with them. While there is no proof of that kind of contact, we definitely know that the Nazi’s had the most advanced technology than any other country of the world during World War II.
The concept of the Hollow Earth is a popular concept and has also been the topic of many books like ‘At the Earth’s Core’ by Edgar Rice Borroughs, ‘A Journey to the Center of the Earth’ by Jules Verne or ‘Message found in a Bottle’ by Edgar Allen Poe.
Stories of vast underground realms, cities and networks inhabited by god-like beings more advanced and more intelligent than the current humanity are intriguing..
Recently in my article I mentioned how extensive underground networks of tunnels have been found throughout Europe. Here we explore some of the other remarkable underground discoveries that have occurred throughout the world.
Derinkuyu in Cappadocia in Turkey is probably the largest underground city that has been discovered to date. It spans more than 8 levels going as deep as 80 meters with more than 600 entrances to the surface. Although the date the original city was built is unknown, the Turkish Department of Culture dates the city back to the 8th century BC. It was made by the Phrygians, ancient Indo-European people, who worshiped the “Great Mother”, Cybele, as the Greeks and Romans knew her. The Phrygians developed an advanced culture, famous for its music and the legend of King Midas, a Phrygian King, who turned everything he touched into gold.
Why the city was built is still unknown, but what is known is that it was used by the Christians escaping persecution from the Roman Empire in the 2nd century AD. Cappadocia includes a huge number of underground tunnels and ‘cities’ and more and more are discovered every year.
In Egypt, the Giza Plateau has an enormous underground system that is a combination of manmade caverns and tunnels as well as subterranean rivers and passages. Since 1978 the caverns have been mapped using ground penetrating radar with the explorations led by Dr Jim Hurtak who has supposedly entered massive chambers larger than our largest cathedrals. A few historians believe that the underground cave system in Giza, is the legendary ‘City of the Gods’, the massive underground city described by ancient writers Herodotus (5th century BC) and Strabo (1st Century AD). Herodotus wrote:
There I saw twelve palaces regularly disposed, which had communication with each other, interspersed with terraces and arranged around twelve halls. It is hard to believe they are the work of man. The walls are covered with carved figures, and each court is exquisitely built of white marble and surrounded by a colonnade. Near the corner where the labyrinth ends, there is a pyramid, two hundred and forty feet in height, with great carved figures of animals on it and an underground passage by which it can be entered. I was told very credibly that underground chambers and passages connected this pyramid with the pyramids at Memphis.
Furthermore, he spoke of the discovery of a multi-level megalithic metropolis under Giza that was 15,000 years old.
Many ancient writers supported Herodotus’ record of underground passages connecting major pyramids and Lamblichus, a fourth-century Syrian representative of the Alexandrian School of mystical and philosophical studies, recorded information about an entranceway through the body of the Sphinx into the Great Pyramid:
This entrance, obstructed in our day by sands and rubbish, may still be traced between the forelegs of the crouched colossus. It was formerly closed by a bronze gate whose secret spring could be operated only by the Magi. It was guarded by public respect, and a sort of religious fear maintained its inviolability better than armed protection would have done. In the belly of the Sphinx were cut out galleries leading to the subterranean part of the Great Pyramid. These galleries were so art-fully crisscrossed along their course to the Pyramid that, in setting forth into the passage without a guide throughout this network, one ceasingly and inevitably returned to the starting point.
Since the declassification of the ground penetrating radar, more and more underground systems have been discovered but not yet explored in various places around the world.
During the summer of 1998, cave explorers using scientific equipment were able to confirm that a linked cave system some 15 miles in length exists underground in North Wales.
South and Central America
In Guatemala, 800 kilometres worth of tunnels have been mapped underneath the Mayan pyramid complex at Tikal. Researchers have suggested that this may provide an explanation for how half a million Mayans escaped the decimation of their culture.
In 2008 archaeologists in Mexico discovered eleven stone temples in underground caves including an underground road that Mayans believe that it was the road to the Mythical underworld city known as Xibalba as mentioned in the previous article.
In April of 1909 there was a story in the Phoenix Gazette entitled ‘Explorations in Grand Canyon’ where a man named Kinkaid discovered several hundred underground rooms some of them containing artifacts such as weapons and instruments unknown to native Americans, Egyptian-like hieroglyphics, mummies and a Buddha-like statue.
In 1985 in an article in Search magazine, there was a story by a Naval officer saying that they found underwater tunnels that span several hundred miles.
In 1992, 24 man-made caves were discovered in China, displaying incredible craftsmanship that would have involved the excavation of 36,000 cubic meters of stone. The floor of the grotto was more than two thousand square meters with the tallest point exceeding 30 metres. There are no historical references of the caves and the reason why they were built is unknown.
In 2012 in Italy archaeologists found an underground pyramid shaped vault of Etruskan origins with a series of tunnels starting from that point probably extending deep inside the ground dated before 1000 BC. Carved stairs run down the wall deeper into other tunnels where another pyramidal structure was found.
In Naples, a labyrinth of several miles of tunnels lies below the city, an underground city that spreads below the old town with many myths and legends surrounding them.
In Malta a network of tunnels was found under the historic capital of Malta, Valleta. Myths say that the network of tunnels in Malta even includes underground cities.
Legends of ‘Gods’ building vast underground cities to be protected by events on the surface appear in the myths and legends of multiple different continents from Egypt to America to China. Could that be the explanation for the thousands of tunnels, caves and underground cities around the world? It seems to me that further research and exploration is needed to uncover just what these underground networks for used for, why they were built and by whom. Until then, their existence remains a mystery.