Mystery dig in southern Turkey ends without explanation


A mysterious excavation in a house in the southern town of Tarsus ended Friday, a year after it started. Still, authorities, who were tight-lipped during the course of the dig guarded by elite police units, did not issue a statement, to the chagrin of conspiracy theory pundits.

The dig has been rife with speculation and provided fodder for conspiracy theories as police installed tall tarpaulin fences around the site to prevent even a peek by curious bystanders and denied access even to a lawmaker who tried to enter the site five times.

With no official explanations, everyone offered a theory on what might be underneath the house, from an ancient treasure to a lost Bible and even the remains of extraterrestrial beings. The most plausible theory was an underground city discovered in this town whose history dates back to the Roman Empire.

Police officers with automatic rifles left the site on Friday and fences were removed, only to reveal soil covering the holes dug by workers. Plainclothes policemen on the street left later.

Media outlets reported that workers dug as deep as 15 meters before the underground water made it impossible to dig further.

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