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Saturday, December 25, 2010

10 Extraordinary and fascinating Cave Houses

Published: December 7, 2010

In many areas around the world the cave houses are seen. It is generally used as a place to stay or an area for devotion towards god. Still there are many cave housed found in the Northern part of China that gives shelter for over 40 million people.
10. Guyaju China
Located about 57 miles or 92 kilometers from Beijing is the ancient cave house known as Guyaju. People are unaware of its origin as there have been no records from the past. The cave was carved on the steep cliff that covers the Zhangshanying Town. This is one of the largest caves in China and there are more than 110 stone rooms that give protection to many people.
9. Matmata, Tunisia
Another fascinating cave house is the Matmâta or Metmata which is situated in a small town in southern Tunisia. The localities of Berber live in the conventional subversive “troglodyte” constructions. These structures are formed by digging a large whole on the ground. Then the artificial caves are constructed around the hollow space. These caves are utilized as rooms and some homes include several pits, which are connected with each other by trench-like passageways.
8. Bamiyan, Afghanistan
Bamyan is also spelt as Bamiyan and Bamian which is a Persian word is situated at an altitude of about 9,200 feet (2,800 m) and with an inhabitant of about 61,863. This is the largest town in Hazarajat, central Afghanistan and also the capital of Bamyan territory. It is located around 240 kilometers north-west of Kabul, the state capital. Bamayan is derived from a Sanskrit word varmayana, which means “colored” was the place for an ancient Hindu Buddhist monastery. Towards the Bamayan city a number of carved Buddha statues on the sides of the cliffs are there.  In the year 2008, many old oil pantings were found in Bamayan.
7. Sassi di Matera
The Sassi originate from a prehistoric (troglodyte) settlement, and are suspected to be some of the first human settlements in Italy. It is situated in the old city of Matera. Many of these “houses” are actually only caverns, and the streets in some parts of the Sassi frequently are positioned on the rooftops of other houses. The prehistoric town grew in height on one slope of the ravine created by a river that is now a small stream. In the 1950s, the government of Italy vehemently relocated most of the inhabitants of the Sassi to areas of the emergent modern city. However, people sustained to live in the Sassi like their family.
6. Mesa Verde, United States
Mesa Verde National Park is a U.S. National Park and UNESCO World Heritage Site situated in Montezuma County, Colorado, United States. It was formed in 1906 to guard some of the finest conserved cliff dwellings in the world. The park occupies 81.4 square miles (211 km2) (211 square kilometers) near the Four Corners and features plentiful remains of homes and villages built by the Ancestral Puebloan people. By the late 12th century they began to construct the cliff dwellings for which Mesa Verde is famous. These first people who were known as the Basketmakers used to live in pithouses clustered into small villages typically built on mesa tops but sometimes in the overhangs of the cliffs. These people were settled there and used bow and arrow as weapon for farming which was more proficient and exact than the atlatl.
5. Bandiagara Escarpment, Mali
The Bandiagara Escarpment is an escarpment in the Dogon country of Mali. The sandstone cliff is about 500 meters above the lower sandy flats to the south. It is approximately 500 meters long. The region of the steep slope is populated today by the Dogon people. Before the Dogon, the area was populated by the Tellem and Toloy. There are many constructions which remain from the Tellem.
In 1989, The Bandigara escarpment was featured in the UNESCO World Heritage List. Stretching to the Grandamia massif the sandstone chain of the Cliffs of Bandiagara ranges from south to northeast over 200 km. Hombori Tondo, Mali’s highest peak at 1,115 meters is the end of the massif. The entire area is one of the most impressive places in West Africa because of its archaeological, ethnological and environmental distinctiveness
4. Vardzia, Georgia
The cave city of Vardzia (Georgian: ??????) is a cavern monastery excavated into the region of the Erusheli mountain in southern Georgia close to Aspindza on the left bank of the Mtkvari River. It was originated by Queen Tamar in 1185. The monastery was built to guard from the Mongols.  It was a thirteen storyed building that had of over six thousand apartments. There was a church, a throne room, and a multifaceted irrigation arrangement to water the terraced farmlands in the city. The only right of entry to the compound was through some fine concealed passageway close to the Mtkvari River.
An earthquake in Samtskhe shattered roughly two thirds of the city in 1283, revealing the caves to exterior sight and putting in danger the irrigation system. During the rule of Beka Jakheli in the thirteenth century, the church was reconstructed and an outwardly noticeable bell tower was added. The monastery was raided in 1551, by the Persians commanded by Shah Tahmasp. Conquering all significant idols and successfully putting an end of the life of the monastery.
3. Kandovan, Iran
One of the mysterious villages is the Kandovan of the 13th century, which is located in the eastern Iranian province of Azerbaijan. What makes Kandovan village so unique is that many of its homes have been made in caves located in cone-shaped, naturally formed compressed volcanic ash formations that make the landscape look like a gigantic termite colony. This method of dwelling makes the residents modern-age cave dwellers or troglodytes. They are generally 2 to 4 floors high, that has an animal shelter in the ground floor and the upper floors are used as living rooms, keeping the top most room for storage. To keep the caves remain cool in summer and warm in winter hardens pillar was used to build the caves.
2. Ortahisar, Turkey
This house was built keeping in mind about the protection and settlement. Ortahisar citadel is located 6km from Ürgüp, on the road to Nevsehir. The civilization was based around the citadel border and thus we can find many structures there. Apples, potatoes, oranges and lemons which was brought from the Mediterranean was stored the sides of the valleys which were tormented with engraved storage areas.
1. Uçhisar, Turkey
The final most exclusive stone cave is the Uçhisar which is located at the highest point in the area 7km from Nevsehir. This was one of the most popular places to stay in Uçhisar. However natural calamities did not permit the habitants to stay there for longer and thus they moved away.

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