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ERCIYES/ARGEUS Erciyes, located to the southwest of Kayseri, is the tallest volcano in Central Anatolia and covers almost 1,500 square kilometers.

GEOLOGICAL MARVELS OF THE REGION "FAIRY CHIMNEYS" “Fairy chimneys" were formed when lava covering the tuff (consolidated volcanic ash) gave way along preexisting cracks of sloping areas and became isolated pinnacles.

They can attain a height of up to forty meters, have conical shapes and consist of caps of harder rock resting on pillars of softer rock.

It is an extraordinary region, unmatched in the world. Since that time Cappadocia has seen the rise and fall of many different civilizations.

It is a land of vast plains, rolling hills, rugged mountains and extinct volcanoes.

Because Erciyes was always snow-covered, the Hittites (second millennium to 1200 BC) called it "Harkasos" or "White Mountain." The Hittite pantheon included a number of mountain gods, including Erciyes.

From the region of Imamkulu in Cappadocia, a 13th century BC Hittite rock carving depicting a storm god above three mountain gods, furnishes proof of the Hittite veneration of Cappadocian volcanoes.

During the "Alpine period" of mountain-building, deep fissures and large depressed areas were created.

The fracturing process allowed the subsurface magma (rocks in their molten state) to find its way to the surface where it formed the Erciyes, Develi, Melendiz, Kegiboydoran, and Hasan Dag cones.

After numerous eruptions these cones increased in size and formed a chain of volcanoes running parallel to the Taurus Mountains.

Also the volcanic material slowly ran towards the depressed areas and covered the previously formed hills and valleys.

The Cappadocian climate, with sharp changes of temperature, heavy rains, and melting snow in the spring, plays an important role in the formation of the Cappadocian landscape.