Karain Cave Antalya is one of those historically significant destinations that takes a great deal of perseverance from visitors. Furthermore, in order to truly understand the experience, substantial knowledge of antiquity and a creative imagination are required. This cave, in Antalya, has been occupied by prehistoric human ancestors for at least 25,000 years and is the largest of the Turkish caves where prehistoric human activity have been discovered.
What to See?
Karain Cave Antalya, also known as Black Cave, is located at an elevation of 390 metres above sea level on the slopes of Sam Da mountain. The cave’s entrance is roughly 100 metres above a travertine plain that was most likely a lake during the Pleistocene period. The cave itself is divided into three large, vast chambers by calcite walls and connected by thin, meandering passages. Stalactites and stalagmites embellish the interior chambers.
At the cave’s entryway, you may discover the remains of previous archaeological excavations. Hikers who pay attention will observe that the earth outside the cave is still covered with rock pieces that are a by-product of stone tool manufacturing. Be advised, however, that collecting such artefacts is absolutely prohibited and punishable by Turkish authorities. Before entering the cave, you may see the many niches and Greek inscriptions on the mountainside. They are the ruins of a religious sanctuary built during the colonial period.
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There are also other chambers inside the cave that you can explore to try to envision how prehistoric people lived thousands of years ago. The benefits of living in a cave were numerous: first, the temperature inside the cave fluctuates less than outside, offering a refreshing cool breeze in the summer and protection from the elements in the winter. The fertile and now arable plain at the foot of the mountain was a good food source for hunters and gatherers in ancient times, and later for the first farmers.
Even now, it is apparent that this is a heavily populated agricultural area. Furthermore, the cave’s location on a steep slope provided ideal defence against enemy attacks: attackers were readily visible to the cave’s inhabitants, and defenders could quickly drop rocks on assailants forced to trek uphill.
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How to Get to Karain Cave Antalya
The Karain Cave Antalya located 35 kilometres north of Antalya, near the settlement of Yaca. Because public transportation is not an option, the only options for transportation are to rent a car or take a cab. A journey to the cave can easily be combined with a visit to Termessos, an ancient city 20 kilometres to the south-west.