The Pilgrimage: Turkey, Part Six

The Pilgrimage: Turkey, Part Six July 21, 2014

Take a good close look at the map above. What you are looking for is Kaymakli, the locale of the underground city. In fact there are many such places in Turkey, and I have visited several of them. Most are in the central region of the country. And most are not merely places where people hid, they are places where people lived for a period of time. In these underground cities we find evidence of storage jars and the other necessary things for staying underground for a considerable period of time. And there are huge rolling stones to seal off the city from both ends.

How do we know that Christians were here…..? Check this out.

There is evidence of elaborate construction going on in these underground cities, including major ventilation shafts such as this one.

These Christians expected to be down in these many little rooms for long periods of time. In fact, here’s our guide Mel, who has been down here for years (only kidding Mel!).

The place is a labyrinth, and it is easy to get lost. Imagine what it would be like in the dark with just hand lamps. You would really need to know your way around, and you have to understand just how much work must have gone into the carving out of these rooms, with their indentations for storing amphorae and other kinds of jars.

There are makeshift tables and places to lie down.

What would this pitted stone have been used for?

Try picking up and moving this rolling stone, which has been a sitting stone for a long time.

Try and imagine the spartan existence of these Christians living down here ‘from hand to mouth’. It was much like the author of Hebrews said at the end of Hebrews 11 about both the OT and NT saints…

“Others were tortured and refused to be released, so that they might gain a better resurrection. 36 Some faced jeers and flogging, while still others were chained and put in prison. 37 They were stoned; they were sawed in two; they were put to death by the sword. They went about in sheepskins and goatskins, destitute, persecuted and mistreated– 38 the world was not worthy of them. They wandered in deserts and mountains, and in caves and holes in the ground. 39 These were all commended for their faith, yet none of them received what had been promised. 40 God had planned something better for us so that only together with us would they be made perfect.”

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