Could the lost city of Atlantis have been in Turkey? A group of researchers from the Van Yüzüncü Yıl University has discovered a 3,000-year-old fortress.
Project leader Tahsin Ceylan started scouring the lake in search of an undersea monster — the Lake Van monster. As with most tales of ancient guardians, perhaps the intent of the story was to discourage intrepid explorers from exploring the depths of the lake’s true treasure.
“There was a rumor that there might be something under the water but most archaeologists and museum officials told us that we won’t find anything,” Ceylan said to the Daily Sabah.
After nearly a decade of exploration (it seriously seems like Ceylan had been content to waste taxpayer money on a wild Lake Van Monster hunt, at least until the accidental discovery) a castle one kilometer in length with walls as high as 10 to 13 feet high above the muddy lake floor was found in the depths.
The castle has been attributed to the Iron Age Urartu civilization, which reached its zenith in the 9th to 6th centuries BCE. The civilization was also known as the Kindom of Van. The structure was remarkably well-preserved, perhaps because of the alkalinity of the lake water.
“Studies were done on the underwater portion of the historic Urartian castle in our city, revealing it to be nearly 3,000 years old,” said Adilcevaz District governor Arif Karaman.
“Many civilizations and people had settled around Lake Van,” Ceylan told the Hurriyet Daily News. “They named the lake the ‘upper sea’ and believed it had many mysterious things. With this belief in mind, we are working to reveal the lake’s ‘secrets’.”
“We have detected the castle’s exact location and photographed it and have made progress in our research. We now believe we have discovered a new area for archaeologists and historians to study.”
“It is a miracle to find this castle underwater. Archaeologists will come here to examine the castle’s history and provide information on it.”
Earlier this year the team had found a sunken Russian ship in the lake. Perhaps they will find the monster they seek yet.