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H 276 x W 203 mm

876 pages

687 photos, 241 maps/illustrations

Published Sep 2023

Archaeopress Access Archaeology


Paperback: 9781803275642

Digital: 9781803275659

DOI 10.32028/9781803275642

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Cappadocia; Göreme; Şahinefendi; Rock-cut Sites; Underground; Anthropogenic Cavities; Shelters; Water System

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Göreme and Şahinefendi

La Storia dentro le Rocce di Cappadocia / History inside the Rocks of Cappadocia

Edited by Andrea Bixio, Roberto Bixio, Andrea De Pascale

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Surveys from two areas of Cappadocia document underground architecture complementary to the most substantial Byzantine rock-cut churches. Conducted through speleological techniques and archaeometric survey, numerous defensive structures and related underground hydraulic systems were discovered. Full text presented in English and Italian.



1. Introduction

2. General Overview

3. Ancient and Recent Sources


Part One: Göreme and Environs

4. The Area of Göreme

5. Water Works at Göreme

6. Catchment Works in the Kiliçlar Vadisi

7. The Kayadibi Zone

8. The Underground Shelters of Göreme: St Eustachius and Vicinity

9. Shelters and Other Cavities along the Kiliçlar Vadisi

10. The Concentric Shelter of Kiliçlar Kilisesi Complex

11. The Amphitheatre Shelters of Göreme

12. The Peripheral Shelters of Göreme

13. The Kozanağa Zone

14. Zemi Vadisi


Part Two: The Şahinefendi Basin

15. Șahinefendi

16. Orta Tepe

17. Yarlağan Tepe

18. The Sites of the Eastern Sector of Şahinefendi

19. Düğen Tepe


About the Author

Andrea Bixio is a caver, photographer, topographer and computer programmer, graduated in Computer Science, University of Genoa. Since 1991 he has participated in the missions carried out by the Team for Underground Studies in Turkey, under the aegis of the Turkish Ministry of Culture, Directorate General of Antiquities. He is co-author of numerous articles and volumes published by the team on the rock-cut sites of Ahlat, Bitlis and Cappadocia.


Roberto Bixio is a caver, researcher, and topographer, and holds an Honorary Doctorate from the National University of Architecture and Construction of Armenia. Since 1991 he has been Director of the Team for Underground Studies in Turkey, which deals with the speleo-archaeological missions in central and eastern Anatolia, in collaboration with the Ministry of Culture of Turkey and several Turkish and Italian Universities. He is author of 11 books and 160 papers in international journals and conference proceedings.


Andrea De Pascale is a caver and archaeologist, PhD in Historical Sciences. Previously he was Scientific Director of the Centre for Underground Studies of Genoa. Since 2008 he has joined all the missions carried out in Turkey by the Team for Underground Studies, in Ahlat, Bitlis and Cappadocia. He is co-author of all volumes and articles published in the proceedings of international congresses and journals related to the missions, and 300 other publications on archaeological topics.


'This research, conducted through speleological techniques and archaeometric survey, has allowed, in particular, the discovery of numerous defensive structures, previously completely unknown, and of related underground hydraulic systems. A completely new picture of the areas investigated emerges, in which the liturgical and funerary structures carved into the rocks represent only the tip of a ‘stone iceberg’, that is, the most evident and closest part to the surface of an underground world that has proved to be much more extensive and diverse than previously imagined.' – la Société Française d'Etude des Souterrains Nov 2023

'An impressive amount of work, remarkable for its richness and quality…That is what best describes the new book edited by our friend Roberto Bixio with Andrea Bixio and Andrea De Pascale, who have been working on rock-cut heritage of Cappadocia for more than thirty years. This book of just over 850 pages, richly illustrated with beautiful photographs, many maps and multiple architectural plans and drawings, brings together all the knowledge they have acquired about rock-cut heritage in the regions of Göreme and Sahinefendi, that are already world famous for their troglodyte churches, some of which are listed as World Heritage Sites.' – Jérôme and Laurent Triolet (2023): Souterrains