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Kurdistan's Miraculous Cave

Kurdistan's Miraculous Cave Kurdistan's Miraculous Cave

Karaftu is a natural limestones cave in northwest of Divandarreh County, Kurdistan Province. It was first explored by a Russian orientalist Khanikov in 1917.

Archaeological speculation in 2000 found different era artifacts inside and outside the site. Stone chips discovered on the fourth floor and outside the cave belong to prehistoric humans.

Karaftu Cave is located 72 km east of Saqqez city. Parts of it have been changed by human activities dating back to Cenozoic Era or Age of Mammals.

Speleologists maintain that it cannot be compared to any other cave. It was submerged during the Mesozoic Era. The drought at the end of this era raised the highlands out of the water to form a human settlement, reports CHN.

The place has been a residence to various ethnic groups and has undergone the most changes experienced by a natural cave as a result of human activities.

It is about 500 m long with chambers and corridors in four levels. The height of the cave is about 20-30 m from the hilltop and there is a stone stairway at its mouth.

At the entrance of the cave, there are a number of connecting passages which link a number of chambers. The chambers have windows cut in the stone.

There are several pre-historic inscriptions in the cave. On the top of a chamber on the third level of the cave, there is a Greek inscription called Heracles. It reads, “Heracles lives there and no evil can enter it.”

Some historians maintain that Seleucids made the cave temple for a Greek Goddess on their way to west. Nevertheless, the cave is sometimes called Heracles Temple. It is also known as Karaftu Castle by local people.

 

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