Karain Cave in Turkey
One of the most enigmatic places of the Mediterranean Region, Karain Cave has survived from prehistoric times.
Turkey is a country of beautiful cultural and historical experiences. While most might think of the fusion of East and West in art, architecture, and culture above ground, the earth itself has some stories to tell too. Through the shifting sands of time, rolling waves, or the trickle of inland lakes, vast networks of caves formed.
Some have lain untouched for centuries, whilst others provide a fascinating insight into our ancestral past through art and artifacts left behind. Stalagmites and stalactites, secret pools, and unchartered rivers will amaze and delight even the most experienced traveler. Here is the most fascinating cave in Turkey!
The Karain Cave is one of the largest attractions in Antalya to have been inhabited in Turkey. The cave provides fascinating insights into the lives and structure of ancient settlements along the Western Mediterranean. With the remains of plants, animals, and as the site of the oldest known human remains in Anatolia, the cave is one of the most important Palaeolithic centers for Anatolian and Near East history.
Artwork found within the cave system point to settlements from the Lower Palaeolithic to the late Roman period and has helped to fill in significant gaps in Anatolian archaeological studies. Come explore this ancient cave by yourself!
The advantages of visiting this amazing cave
The advantages of this cave-dwelling were numerous:
- First of all temperature in the cave is subject to less variation than on the outside, providing pleasant cool air in summer and the protection from the elements in winter.
- The plain extending at the foot of the mountain is a fertile and now arable land, which in ancient times was an excellent food source for hunters and gatherers, and later for the first farmers.
- It is clearly visible that this is an area intensively used for agriculture. Moreover, because the cave is located on a steep slope, it provided excellent protection against attacks of enemies, the attackers were clearly visible for the inhabitants of the cave, and the defenders could easily drop rocks on the attackers forced to climb uphill.
Tips for travelers:
Many of the objects found in the cave are now presented in the Archaeological Museum in Antalya and visiting this museum after the trip to Karain Cave is highly recommended. A rich collection of findings from Karain Cave can also be seen in the Museum of Anatolian Civilizations in Ankara. Some small objects, mostly animal bones, and teeth are displayed in a tiny museum is located near the entrance to the cave.
The admission to Karain Cave costs 5 TL per person. The cave is open to visitors daily, from 9 am to 7 pm (in winter to 5 pm). From the ticket booth, located next to the parking lot, a steep and rocky path leads to the entrance of the cave. It is necessary to hike up the mountain and the path is not shaded by trees, so bring sunscreen, bottled water, and hiking boots.
There is a lighting system installed in the cave, but it does not work very well, so you can expect a sudden lack of light. The best idea is to bring your own flashlight. The floor of the cave is wet and slippery, so walk carefully. The narrow passages between the chambers of the cave are not suitable for people who suffer from claustrophobia.
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