The cave is located in a mountainous area overlooking a deep and beautiful valley to the south and is beset with numerous hideouts, holes and crypts.
These make the cave warm during winter and cool during summer, hence a favorable residence for humans.
The limestone cave was formed in the Mesozoic geological period (251-65 million years ago) and has been used as a residence for human beings in different periods.
The third floor of the cave hosts an invaluable stone inscription, written in ancient Greek, which attributes the site to Hercules – a god worshipped in ancient Greek.
This shows the site has been used as a residence by Seleucids before they were pushed back by the army of Mithridates II of the Parthian Empire in Iran around 100 BC.
The use of the cave as a residence was originally thought to date back to that period. However, later research showed Karaftu has been used a human residence since at least 5,000 BC.
Karaftu was registered as a national heritage of Iran in 1939.