Turkish archaeologists have recently published discoveries made underneath the ancient Armenian capital city of Ani. Receding water has revealed an opening to a comprehensive network of tunnels dug beneath the ancient city located in present day Turkish province of Kars. Once a powerful city the capital of the Armenian kingdom of the Bagratuni dynasty, Ani today stand abandoned and desolate. At its zenith Ani rivaled the likes of Constantinople, Baghdad and Cairo in size and influence. By the 11th Century Ani had grown to over one-hundred-thousand people. Renowned for its splendor and magnificence, Ani was known as “the city of 40 gates” and “the city of 1001 churches.” It would later become the battleground for various contending Empires, leading to its destruction and abandonment. Today Ani largely remains a forgotten ancient ghost town in modern day Turkey.
While speaking at the recent “International Ani-Kars Symposium,” history researcher Sezai Yazıcı said secret water channels, undiscovered monk cells, meditation rooms, huge corridors, intricate tunnels, unbelievable traps and corners that make one lose their sense of direction were just some of the unknown underground structures located at the ancient site. Over 823 underground structures have been found with a length of over 500 meters. Most of these structures were used as residences, other structures included churches, water channels, dovecotes, etc. The researchers have mapped the underground structures and passageways.
According to Yazıcı these discoveries have been inspired by George Gurdjieff‘s writings who in 1886, with his companion Pogossian, has visited the ruins of Ani and discovered some passageways with rotten furniture, pottery and a pile of parchments in monks chambers. Although Gurjieff was fluent in Armenian (being born in Armenia himself), he could not comprehend the words on these scrolls as they were written in the Old Armenian (commonly known as Grabar). Gurdjieff remained intrigued by these parchments which upon deciphering revealed a mentioning of an ancient esoteric brotherhood that sparked his imagination. Yazıcı said Gurdjieff was the first person to mention the monastery that was located under the Ani Ruins. Read his accounts -> HERE
For more information on the 5000 year old Armenian city, visit: “Ani, city of 1001 church”
Bellow some pictures taken by the researchers: