Archaeologists working on excavations in the capital of the former Hittite Empire in Alacahöyük, Turkey, have discovered a secret 2,300-year-old “potern” tunnel, Hurriyet Daily News reports.
“This tunnel is a big discovery in terms of Hittite architecture,” said Aykut Çınaroglu, the head of excavations. “I never thought I would find a potern, but I did.”
The secret tunnel stretches about 75 feet, but the archaeologists believe it is even longer. “We will see what we will find in the end. Poterns were placed under the castle, extending into the city. We have previously found a cuneiform tablet here, featuring a king who explains to priests what to do during ceremonies. This secret tunnel might have had a sacred function,” Çınaroglu said.
Archaeologists will focus on the tunnel during the upcoming season, and in doing so hope to learn more about the Bronze Age and Hatti era, which came 350 to 400 years before the Hittites. “We have so far excavated in very limited areas, but we will try to progress and reach this age with more scientific methods,” Çınaroglu said. Jeva Lange