The Amazing Story of How This 3,000-Year-Old Castle Wound Up At The Bottom Of A Lake

Archaeologists have found a 3,000-year-old castle at the bottom of Lake Van in Turkey. Typically, sunken cities are the stuff of fantasy novels (and the recent Justice League movie) but after this latest discovery, they have become a reality.

The Discovery

The castle was preserved at the bottom of Lake Van and was found in near-perfect condition. Initially, the team had hoped to either find or debunk the myths of the famous Lake Van Monster.

Instead, they discovered an underwater city. Seems like a fair trade-off.

Head of the research team, Tahsin Ceylan, was shocked when she found a city instead of some legendary sea monster, stating, “There was a rumor that there might be something under the water, but most archaeologists and museum officials told us that we wouldn’t find anything.”

Needless to say, they were all wrong.


According to the report, the castle stretches on for about a kilometer and has walls that are about three or four meters high. The structure was in surprisingly good condition because of the natural alkaline water in the lake.

Researchers date the sunken city to the Iron Age, and say it belonged to the long lost Urartu civilization, or the Kingdom of Van, which definitely sounds like the start to some new fantasy blockbuster.

More Secrets In Lake Van

Other remains of this lost civilization were found at a higher level along the current edge of the lake, and are currently part of a greater study.

Ceylan mentioned that the original settlers of Lake Van, may have also been suspicious about the waters, “Many civilizations and people had settled around Lake Van…They named the lake the ‘upper sea’ and believed it had many mysterious things inside…we are working to reveal the lake’s ‘secrets’.”


This isn’t their first attention-grabbing discovery, either. Last year, Ceylan’s team discovered a 4-kilometer field of stalagmites. The team characteristically called the formations “underwater fairy chimneys.” They also found gravestones that date back some 1,000 years ago. The team also announced that they discovered a Russian ship which sunk way back in 1948.

The team of scientists and archeologists believe that Lake Van may contain many more secrets beneath its surface, and plan to dig deeper into the subject, with Ceylan stating, “We now believe we have discovered a new area for archeologists and historians to study.”

That being said, there is no reason to believe that Lake Van’s mysterious sea monster may still yet show itself.

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