The Water Cave of Troy

The Water Cave of Troy

The Water Cave of Troy/Wilusa (KASKAL.KUR) Troy II-IX

In the southwest of the lower city, an artificial water- cave with underground tunnels totaling ca. 160 m in length (three arms supplying water from a subterranean source) was excavated during the seasons of 1997 through 2001. Evaluated by the 230uranium/thorium method, the sinter deposited in some of the galleries cut into siliceous bedrock dates as early as the third millennium BCE.

This water-cave, which had been serving Troy for a good one thousand years by the period of Troy VI (second millennium BCE), may therefore be identified with the "subterranean passageway" of the god KASKAL.KUR closely associated with water. It was around 1280 BCE that KASKAL.KUR was called upon as Trojan witness to a treaty sworn between the Hittite monarch Muwatalli II and King Alaksandu of Wilusa (= [W]ilios); thus we have evidence for a second deity -in addition to Appaliuna (= Apollo ?)- vouching on behalf of Troy.

The gallery system runs through the bedrock to the east, connecting with four shafts at depths up to 17 m below the surface.

A protective wall narrowing the entrance to the galleries marks the smaller extent of the prehistoric water-cave, from which water was distributed to several rock-cut basins (A-D). In the Roman period (2nd – 32nd cent. CE), clay pipes directed the flow into "fishponds" outside the water-cave, and in Byzantine times (122th - 13th cent. CE) there was most likely a garden here; water ran through channels lined with stone.