Lost castle discovered submerged in giant Turkish lake (PHOTO, VIDEO)
Landlocked by volcanic rock, Turkey’s Lake Van has captivated more imaginative locals with stories of a mythical monster lurking within. But now researchers have uncovered a more concrete reason for people to visit – a secret underwater castle.
Essentially, Lake Van is to Turkey what Loch Ness is to Scotland. Stretching between the provinces of Bitlis and Van, the giant body of water is Turkey’s largest and was once home to an Iron-Age kingdom called Urartu.
Many Urartian sites have been excavated in Turkey, according to the US Met Museum, and it’s possible that a fortress discovered beneath Lake Van’s surface can be added to that list.
The find was made by researchers from the Van Yüzüncü Yıl University, report Daily Sabah, with the castle believed to date back centuries. Local District Governor Arif Karaman said studies so far reveal that the castle is around 3,000 years old.
Tahsin Ceylan, a diver involved in the underwater quest, said the 1,480ft-deep lake holds many mysteries. He said what was first thought to be a local harbor wall turned out to be an incredible historical discovery.
“We’ve being doing research on Lake Van for almost ten years now,” Ceylan told RT.com. “Last year, we found microbialites and a Russian ship from 1915. In 2016, we came across some sort of wall outside the harbor in one of our dives.
“Later we’ve found out that it is a castle’s wall that started within the harbor and continues outside. The castle is approximately one kilometer long and has a solid structure. It was mostly made with cut stones and we’ve discovered a lion drawing in one of them which strengthen our theory that the castle might be built by Urartians, from a 3,200 year period,” he said.