Ecology

 

Landscape and Climate

Derinkuyu sits in the Cappadocia region of central Turkey. The landscape consist of large mountain ridges, valleys, and jagged rock formations known as “fairy chimneys” (shown below). These formations were created due to the area once being covered by volcanic ash and then later eroded away, forming their unique figures. The Cappadocia region is classified as a Steppe climate or in other words a “semi-arid” climate. The area receives little rainfall, but still enough to support the life of different kinds of small grasses and shrubs.

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ihlara-valley-cappadocia-turkey-view-from-stairs

 

 

 

 

 

 

Interaction with the land

Derinkuyu was able to be carved into the ground due to the easy to cut tufa stone. Tufa stone is a light rock that is composed of volcanic ash. Along side its great building properties, the tufa stone has excellent insulation properties, which allowed for the people of Derinkuyu to store both food and livestock at a steady temperature.derinkuyu_thdh-11

Along with the tufa stone, the Cappadocia region is made up with a fertile tufa soil. This tufa soil becomes fertile when combined with the guano (droppings) of the wild pigeons of the area. The people of Derinkuyu would have been able to have a source of agriculture due to this process. Crops such as grapes and apricots would have been a steady source of food. Along with agriculture, the people would have hunted small mammals such as steppe mice, rabbits, and martens.pigeon-valley-cappadoccia